WAXHAW, N.C — The Nation Ford Falcons dropped to 0-2 on the season, losing its second straight game to a North Carolina opponent when the team fell to the Marvin Ridge Mavericks 56-46.
Marvin Ridge came out hot and never let up as Nation Ford struggled to keep up after a poor second quarter.
“Right now, our biggest thing to look at is making steady improvements,” said Falcons’ head coach Michael Tew. “They are only going to continue to improve. I am still trying to solidify what the roles are on the team.”
Nation Ford struggled in the fourth quarter after pulling within eight to end the third at 40-32.
The Falcons didn’t score its first field goal in the fourth until there was 2:25 left, on a senior Riley Hilton layup. Hilton led Nation Ford with 20 points.
Nation Ford did pull within seven at 45-38 with two minutes left in the game, but a Mavs 3-pointer, one of five in the game, quickly pushed its lead back to 10.
The Mavs came out in the second half and stayed the aggressor, smothering Nation Ford on defense with a man-to-man approach.
Hilton, who scored nine of the Falcon’s 15 first quarter points, recovered from going cold in the second quarter and scored Nation Ford’s first two baskets.
Despite being a big man for Marvin Ridge, John Emezie hit two 3-pointers to push the Mavs lead to 38-25 with about three minutes left in the third quarter. Emezie scored 33 in the game to lead Marvin Ridge.
Nation Ford did a better job penetrating the paint in the quarter. However, the Mavs stayed just as hot going 5-12 from the field.
Marvin Ridge used its height to its advantage, attacking the baseline and clogging the lane on defense.
Nation Ford missed its first six shots to start the second quarter, before a time out to try and regroup.
The team also struggled in getting back in transition as Marvin Ridge seemed to beat them to the basket consistently.
Marvin Ridge’s two biggest players, 6-foot-4 Ben Williams and 6-foot-6 Emezie, did the majority of work for the Mavs in crashing the boards and getting put backs.
Emezie scored five of the Mavs 13 second quarter points. Nation Ford hit just one shot from the field on 15 attempts in the second quarter.
The first quarter was a back and forth battle between each squad, as neither one seemed to get too much of an advantage.
Nation Ford tried to establish an offense and pressed hard on defense, while Marvin Ridge tried to take it to the hoop on nearly every occasion.
The Mavs used a lot of pressure on the baseline to get good looks at the basket, while the Falcons worked things in the paint.