INDIAN LAND — For the second time in a week, the Indian Land Warriors got the best of their once closest rivals as they beat Fort Mill 62-60.
Led by senior Hayden Sawyer, who scored 22 points, this game was different from their first encounter as the Warriors swept the season series.
A back-and-forth contest for most of the game, Fort Mill missed a lay-up as time expired that would have sent the game into overtime.
Fort Mill led at the half 27-24, but Indian Land fought back in the third quarter to take control of things. With about two minutes left in the period, Indian Land went on a 15-2 run aided by four three-pointers, three of which came from Sawyer, and one from freshman Darnell Rogers, who added 13 points all in the second half.
Hayden and Darnell put us on their shoulders, said Warriors head coach Nate Smith.
That run pushed the Warriors lead to 50-44 entering the fourth quarter and had the Indian Land gym rumbling with noise. Fort Mill didnt help its cause with seven turnovers in the third quarter as the Jackets were outscored 26-17 in the period.
The teams started the fourth quarter trading baskets and momentum started to swing the Jackets way as junior Mike Scurlock, playing in his first game of the year, tied the game at 54 with about 3:45 left.
With 61 seconds left, Rogers drained a three-pointer to make the score 60-59. After a stop on the other end, junior Lee McCall was fouled and made the second of two free-throws to tie the game at 60.
Indian Land then stole the ball on the in-bounds and missed a couple shot attempts before McCall hit the game-winner with just seconds remaining.
Our rebounding was the key, Smith said. We had some key rebounds.
Fort Mill was led by senior Harrison Lancaster with 16 points. Junior Devan Thacker and senior Rylan Wells had 12 points each for the Jackets.
We played better (than the first time), but we didnt make the plays we needed too, said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe. Its frustrating we didnt take care of the ball in key situations. We didnt make the plays we needed to make.
Fort Mill fell to 2-2 on the season and Indian Land improved to 5-1.
Earlier in the week, Fort Mill beat Forestview 71-56 and was led by Lancasters 24 points. Seniors John Paris added 17 and Matt Ferguson added 13 in the win.
Lady Jackets run through Indian Land
The Lady Jackets were challenged to score 70 by head coach Christene Benyak. They did even better than that by bulldozing Indian Land 74-18.
As the game went on, the Fort Mill offense improved as Indian Lands continued to digress. Fort Mill opened the first quarter outscoring Indian Land 15-9, but by the fourth they outscored the Lady Warriors 24-2.
Everybody contributed, Benyak said. We got hit with the flu this week and had five girls get it. Three didnt travel with us. Hopefully, that is over with.
Even with the flu bug nipping at the team, everybody got to play and everybody at least got to shoot the ball.
Fort Mill had four players score in double figures as junior Arianna Grevious scored 22 to lead the Lady Jackets.
Senior Rae Lynch added 18, hitting four three-pointers, and senior Hannah-Kate Christopher, getting her first start of the year, scored 15. Senior Lauren Wood added 10.
After a close opening quarter between the two, Fort Mill pulled away in the second as Indian Land went 0-8 from the field and scored just four points in the quarter, all on free throws.
Fort Mill continued the hot shooting in the third quarter and hit eight of 18 shots, and Indian Land struggled.
The Lady Warriors didnt score their first field goal in the second half until 3:30 left, going a full 12:30 without a field goal.
Fort Mill opens Region III-AAAA play this week at Rock Hill and at home against York Friday.