Sports

Jackets get everyone involved in victory

CHARLOTTE -- You've got to hand it to that "Baileyball."

Even though it's got a go-to guy, it doesn't have to depend on him.

Fort Mill kept its perfect season going Saturday with a 65-57 win over Ridge View at Bobcats Arena, using coach Bailey Jackson's tried-and-true team approach to overcome a feisty Blazers squad. The Jackets had a player take over each quarter, taking the offensive load off workhorse center Chalmers Rogers, and improved to 6-0.

"We try to stress getting the ball to Chalmers," Jackson said. "I'm just a little disappointed they were able to make us play the way they wanted us to."

Rogers, the 6-foot-7 lone returning starter off last year's Class AAAA state championship team, wasn't at all quiet, leading the Jackets with 19 points and hauling in 12 rebounds with five blocks. But when he was hampered early, the rest of the Jackets stepped up.

Cam Smith took over the first quarter, scoring eight of the Jackets' 14 points as Rogers missed a couple of bunnies. Smith ended up with his own double-double (14 points, 10 boards) and carried the Jackets to an early lead.

The second quarter hit and it was Garrett Copeland's turn. Copeland scored 10 points, the Jackets' only offense besides Rogers' lay-in and four free throws, and paced his own double-double (17 points, 10 boards).

After halftime, Torrell Priest returned from a first-half benching, earned after he was whistled for a technical foul. The acrobatic guard wove between the Blazers' defense for seven points before the fourth quarter hit.

Rogers took it home, kick-starting the frame by rebounding Priest's missed shot and converting a three-point play. The Jackets overcame a 24-point performance from Ridge View's Deion Jones and walked out of the icy arena, filled with only 300 or so fans -- quite a change from a normal home game, where Fort Mill usually packs its 1,500-capacity gym.

"It was definitely tough to get started," Smith said.

Still, the team effort won it. Priest joined Rogers, Copeland and Smith in double figures (11 points) and although the Jackets turned the ball over a whopping 18 times, it didn't end up costing them too much.

"That's got to be a season-high, at least," Jackson said, shaking his head. "We've got a lot of work to do. Defensively, we were very flat-footed."

Ridge View (5-6) took its only lead with 3:32 to go in the third quarter, Jarvis Davis swiping a ball and feeding Jones for a lay-up. Jackson called timeout and gave his troops an earful, which the Jackets responded to by Copeland finding Priest for a coast-to-coast lay-up.

Back in front, the Jackets spurted to a comfortable lead by making their free throws and having Rogers score seven points in the fourth.

"We complement each other," Smith said of teaming with Rogers. "When he's not having a hot night, I'll score and when he's having a hot night, I'll get the ball to him."

"Ridge View likes to press a lot, and we had a lot of trouble getting the ball inside," Copeland said. "We expected them to be quick, but they were very phsyical."

Ridge View 10 18 16 13 -- 57

Fort Mill 14 16 20 15 -- 65

• RIDGE VIEW 56, FORT MILL 32 -- In Charlotte, Fort Mill dropped to 1-4 as Ridge View used a relentless press and hot 3-point shooting over the Lady Yellow Jackets' zone defense to win.

"Our girls were excited but definitely nervous," Fort Mill coach Todd Bowser said. "We had a lot of good opportunities ... we just didn't finish."

The nerves showed early, Fort Mill committing 13 turnovers in the first quarter. That and the shooting of Ridge View's Lakiya Deake (nine of the Lady Blazers' first 11 points) put the Jackets in an 11-5 hole.

Bowser realized after playing Ridge View earlier this season that sticking to man-to-man wasn't a good option. Fort Mill switched to zone, which the Blazers recognized and began pulling up outside the arc.

Sherell Cooper drained three 3-pointers and three other Blazers had one each. The Jackets, still struggling to overcome youth and inexperience, fell further and further behind.

Nation Ford High School opened this year and took many of Fort Mill's players, leaving the Jackets with lone returnee Megan Killmeyer. Bowser said that was a reason for the slow start but also pointed out baskets not falling, turnovers and rebounding.

He also wasn't pleased that Ridge View kept the press on when the Lady Blazers (2-5) were leading by 30 in the fourth quarter.

"It's full-circle," he said. "It's going to come around."

Ridge View 11 14 10 11 -- 56

Fort Mill 5 9 3 15 -- 32

Fort Mill 65

Ridge View 57

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