Sports

Perfect no more

South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore takes a shot from outside as Fort Mill's Cam Smith guards.
South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore takes a shot from outside as Fort Mill's Cam Smith guards.

Fort Mill's undefeated season came to and end Friday night in a 70-63 loss to the South Pointe Stallions.

And for the second straight year, South Pointe beat Fort Mill in the final game of the regular season, stopping the Yellow Jackets again from having a perfect record in Region 3-AAAA.

Fort Mill, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA and the defending state champion, ended the regular season at 23-1 overall and 13-1 in the region. The Yellow Jackets host Spartanburg in the first round of the Upper State playffs on Wednesday.

South Pointe moved to 18-4 overall and 11-3 in the region. The Stallions host Dorman in the first round.

The pairings are unofficial and will be announced later today.

South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore showed the fans in the Stallions' nearly packed gym why he is considered one of the top junior athletes in the state.

In the fall, he plays quarterback for the football team and runs the showed when the Stallions have the ball.

Friday night on South Pointe's basketball court, Gilmore was the show. He scored 24 points, tops for the game. He canned 11 in the third quarter, nine coming on three straight 3-pointers, and helped South Pointe build a 47-41 leading heading into the final eight minutes.

Gilmore got a hand from guard C.J. Dreakford, who nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the third period. The second came at the 2:38 mark and put the Stallions up 45-38.

"Going into the second half, I had to have more confidence in my shots," Gilmore said. "Fort Mill was pushing me back, so when I saw an opening, I let the 3 go.

"This was a good win for us, to knock off the No. 1 team and keep them from having an undefeated season. We play together, and this is a game we needed to play heading into the playoffs."

Fort Mill saw it was going to be a long night as the game unfolded. South Pointe scored the first eight points, the last three on a Dreakford 3-pointer.

The Yellow Jackets got on the board when Garrett Copeland drilled a 3-pointer and later tied the game at 13 on a three-point play by Chalmers Rogers.

Fort Mill got its first lead in the second quarter on a 3-pointer from Andrew Parra, and eventually went ahead 28-24 on six straight points by Torrell Priest, who made four 3-pointers and scored 19 points.

"This was a great game, even though we lost," Priest said. "We wanted to beat them because they beat us in the final game last season.

"But not winning and not going undefeated are not the end of the world. They beat us in the last game and we ended up winning the state championship. Maybe it's a sign."

South Pointe hit the court for the second half knocking the lights out. The Stallions began with four straight 3-pointers -- thee by Gilmore -- then got a two-point basket from Gilmore. Dreakford followed up with another trey and the Stalllions never trailed again after building a 43-38 lead.

"Two straight years," South Pointe coach Dwayne Hartsoe said after the game. "We really played well in the second half. Stephon got hot, and when he gets hot, he's hard to stop."

The Stallions went into the final quarter ahead 47-41, but the gap closed to 47-43 when Copeland opened the period with a pair of free throws.

That was as close as the Yellow Jackets would get. On a pair of Gilmore baskets and two Erby free throws, the score jumped to 52-43.

Fort Mill was forced to foul the rest of the way and South Pointe's hit 13-of-20 shots from the stripe.

"We didn't hit many shots in the second half, but South Pointe's defense had a lot to do with that," Fort Mill coach Bailey Jackson said. "The seemed to get every loose ball and hit the boards harder than us.

"But we have no excuses. It was a great game and we lost to a very good team in front of a full house."

SOUTH POINTE 70, FORT MILL63

Fort Mill -- Torrell Priest 19, Peyton Barker 2, Garrett Copeland 14, Andre Parra 5, Cam Smith 13, Chalmers Rogers 10.

South Pointe -- C.J Dreakford 13, Stephon Gilmore 24, Corey Kessler 5, Mike Douglas 5, Charles Holmes 6, Trey Erby 15, Aaron Davidson 2.

Fort Mill13171122--63South Pointe15112222--70

3-pointers: Fort Mill 8 (Priest 4, Copeland 2, Parra, Smith). South Pointe 7 (Gilmore 3, Dreakford 3, Kessler). Team fouls: Fort Mill 25, South Pointe 17. Fouled out: Priest.

Records: South Pointe 18-4, 11-3 Region 3-AAAA; Fort Mill 23-1, 13-1 Region 3-AAAA.

South Pointe70Fort Mill63

Unofficial playoffs pairings for Region 3-AAAA

GIRLS

TUESDAY

Lancaster (13-6) at Spartanburg (21-4)

Northwestern (11-11) at Dorman (19-4)

Byrnes (18-6) at York (18-5)

Mauldin (9-14) at South Pointe (23-2)

BOYS

WEDNESDAY

York (16-7) at Hillcrest (22-2)

Northwestern 13-11) at Byrnes (15-8)

Dorman (18-6) at South Pointe (18-4)

Spartanburg (18-6) at Fort Mill (23-1)

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