A 16-1 run in the fourth quarter gave the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets enough distance over Region 3-AAAA foe Northwestern (5-14, 0-5) as they would go on for the win 57-43.
Led by junior Andrew McCartney and sophomore Mark Blackmon, Fort Mill (13-5, 4-1) used the run to go from being up just five points at 35-30 to start the final period to 51-31.
McCartney scored six and Blackmon added seven during the run as the two teammates each scored 14 points in the game.Despite Northwestern outscoring Fort Mill the rest of the quarter, the damage was severe enough there was no way for a comeback.
“We lost complete focus of what we are doing,” Northwestern coach Mike Gossett said. “We just opened the door for them.”
The Northwestern continued its run at perfection Tuesday with a 61-32 win over Fort Mill.
Now 18-0 on the season and 5-0 in Region 3-AAAA, the Lady Trojans took the opening tip against Fort Mill and never really looked back.Northwestern jumped out to a 12-0 lead hitting its first four shots, while Fort Mill (5-13, 1-4) struggled early by going 0 for 3 from the field to open the game.
Fort Mill didn’t score until nearly 6 minutes into the opening period on a free throw from junior Jenna White, who led the Lady Jackets with nine points.
Both teams weren’t shy about taking shots, as Northwestern hit 7 of 13 shots in the first quarter, while Fort Mill struggled, going 0 for 10 from the field. Fort Mill’s three points in the quarter came from free throws by White and sophomore Taylor Sutton.
Northwestern continued to pull away in the second quarter, as senior guard Kelia Shelton and junior guard Xy’resha Isom each scored five points.
Shelton led the Lady Trojans in the game by scoring 15 points. Senior forward Amber Stewart also added consistent play throughout the game by dropping in 14 points.
The Lady Trojans continued to pull away after leading 18-3 after the opening quarter by opening the second period on an 8-0 run.Fort Mill didn’t hit its first field goal in the game until just under six minutes remained in the second quarter on a basket by freshman Hannah-Kate Christopher. The Lady Jackets played better defense in the quarter and their offense also started to click as White hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 26-11 midway through the second.
Down 32-13 at the half, Fort Mill came out aggressive and forced Northwestern into starting 1 for 5 from the field. While things worked better of the Lady Jackets on defense, they struggled on offense to start and didn’t get a shot off in the third quarter until nearly three and a half minutes remained. Fort Mill didn’t score until nearly a minute later as White hit a free throw. Junior Haley Bonner drained a 3-pointer at 1:30 in the period to give the Lady Jackets its first field goal of the period.
Fort Mill was able to finish the quarter on a surge and outscored the Trojans 11-10 in the period, scoring 10 of those in the final 90 seconds.Northwestern started the fourth quarter up 42-24 and didn’t lose any focus as its finished strong, outscoring Fort Mill 19-8 in the final period.Lady Trojans coach John Bramlett said it’s not easy for his team to lose focus despite a big lead.
“I think our girls and seniors do a good job in not letting that happen,” Bramlett said. “I think we came out with a lot of intensity in the second half.”