A quick start in the third quarter by the Lancaster Lady Bruins helped push them past Nation Ford 60-50 in the regular-season opener for both teams.
The Nation Ford boys defeated Lancaster 62-52.
The first game of the regular season didn’t go according to plan for the Lady Falcons, who struggled with turnovers in the third quarter as Lancaster went on a 5-0 run to go up 43-38.
Lancaster’s defense was able to hold the Falcons to just 20 second-half points and limit leading scorer Alixis Roccia, who led Nation Ford with 21, to just four in the second half.
Nation Ford started the game hot, getting inside and to the line as they shot 70 percent from the foul line in the first quarter – all by Roccia. That helped put Nation Ford up 15-9 after the first quarter, but in the second, the Falcons struggled defensively.
Two three-pointers by Roccia helped keep Nation Ford ahead despite Lancaster’s surge, making 23-19.
Falcons head coach Tamara Washington said her bigger girls need to step up more. “It’s time for everyone to step up and make things happen,” she said.
Nation Ford held a one-point lead at the half, then let that lead slip away in the third quarter. Lancaster outscored the Falcons 31-20 in the second half.
The Lady Falcons were able to bounce back against Marvin Ridge later in the week for a 68-47 win to improve to 3-2 on the season.
Nation Ford 62, Lancaster 52
The Nation Ford boys’ team used a strong inside presence to dominate the Bruins.
Hank Tuipulotu scored 15 and Jacob Patterson added 14, while Ian Corley added 12.
Nation Ford stayed in control for the majority of three quarters, as it started to pull away in the second period. The Falcons used their quickness in transition to get easy hoops.
“We shot the ball well and rebounded well,” said Falcons’ head coach Michael Tew.
“We need to work on defense. We need to retool our motion offense.”
Nation Ford opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run after leading at the half, 33-23. Cam Holmes hit two big hoops, as did Tuipulotu. The Falcons went 8-13 in the third quarter.
Patterson dropped in five of his 14 in the third as Nation Ford’s transition game seemed to click into a new gear. Nation Ford started the quarter on an 18-6 push, before Lancaster rattled off a 9-0 run to make it closer at 51-38.
Later in the week, Nation Ford fell 61-47 to Marvin Ridge in their first match-up of the year. The Falcons were held to just eight fourth-quarter points.
Nation Ford returns home Dec. 12 against Marvin Ridge and then is on the road to Lancaster before hosting Clover on Dec. 19.