FORT MILL --
Chalk it up to the up and down nature of sports, but after an impressive performance against Indian Land to finish out 2012, the Nation Ford Lady Falcons weren’t impressive at all while falling to the Carolina Lady Cougars, a home-school team out of North Carolina, 49-38.
Head coach Mike Smith summed up his team’s performance with one word – “awful.”
“We weren’t prepared to play at all,” he said. “We showed a lack of mental toughness. We looked like a team that had been on Christmas break for two weeks.”
Nation Ford was in the game for most of the first half despite hitting just four shots from the field and relying on 10-for-14 free throw shooting. The Lady Falcons didn’t have a foul shot in the second half.
Coming off her school record 41 point performance, junior Taylor Yarborough was held to just seven points and hit just one field goal in the game. She went five-of-six from the foul line.
As a team, Nation Ford shot 18 percent from the field for the game and hit just 13 shots.
Trailing by four at 34-30 to start the fourth quarter, the Lady Falcons hit just four shots in the final period going 4-for-21 from the field while the Lady Cougars went four-for-five from the field and were a perfect six-for-six from the line as they took their time looking for high percentage shots to hold the lead.
Overall, the Lady Cougars didn’t shoot much better than Nation Ford, hitting 38 percent from the field for the game, but they were nearly perfect at the line going 10-for-11.
Despite its poor shooting in the first half, Nation Ford only trailed 22-19 at the half and was able to tie the game at 24 in the third quarter as junior Briley Prince hit a three-pointer as both teams started going back and forth exchanging the lead. Prince scored seven points in the game.
Neither team started out to impressive as the Lady Cougars held just a two point lead after the first quarter, but in the second quarter, the Lady Cougars started to find their shot and started to hit from outside the paint. They also attempted a dozen three-pointers, hitting seven of them.
Carolina’s Leah Church led with 22 points and hit four of the team’s seven three-pointers in the game.
The Lady Falcons were led by junior Zippy Lincoln, as she scored eight points, in the game.
Nation Ford will pick back up with Region III-AAAA play this week with games against South Pointe at home and then at Fort Mill Friday.
Carolina 49, Nation Ford 38
Carolina – Leah Church 22, Anna Hairgrove 9, Koral Held 7, Aleksanderja Kuilts 6, Alaina Grimes 5. Nation Ford – Zippy Lincoln 8, Taylor Yarborough 7, Briley Prince 7, Abbey Bjerken 5, Dani Shaddix 4, Tiaira Potts 3, Jessie Raniszewski 2, Aja Hall 2.
3-pointers – Carolina 7 (Church 4, Held 2, Kuilts 1), Nation Ford 2 (Prince 1, Potts 1). Team fouls – Carolina 10, Nation Ford 14.
Records: Carolina 16-3, Nation Ford 7-6.