FORT MILL — After starting the season 0-3, the Nation Ford Lady Falcons have bounced back to even their record at 4-4.
Nation Ford, led by senior Zippy Lincoln, tore through York, winning 51-28 as nine Lady Falcons scored.
“A lot of our baskets came off assists,” said Nation Ford head coach Mike Smith. “Zippy is taking her game to another level and I am proud of her for stepping up with her senior leadership.”
Nation Ford opened the game slowly, but quickly found its groove as Lincoln scored the first five points of the game on way to her team-high 11 points.
The Lady Falcons shot just less than 50 percent from the field in the opening quarter while York struggled to score, hitting just two shots.
Nation Ford started getting points of fast-breaks and York couldn’t keep up. The Lady Falcons’ younger players, like Alixis Roccia and Brooklyn Bailey, stepped up to help out. Both scored seven points in the game.
York struggled mightily with turnovers and hit just one field goal in the second quarter as Nation Ford went up 28-8 at the half.
The second half didn’t get much better for York as the Lady Cougars’ problems finding the basket continued through the first six minutes of the period. Meanwhile, Nation Ford went on a 12-2 run and soon pushed the score to 40-10 with about 90 seconds left in the period. That’s when York got hot and scored the next six points to make it 40-16 after three quarters.
The Lady Falcons took 60 shots in the game, hitting a third of them, while York took 38 and hit less than 30 percent.
Boys’ team rally for win
On the boys’ side , down by 10 in the second quarter, the Nation Ford Falcons rallied against York and held on down the stretch to win their second straight game.
Led by the slashing aggression of senior Mike Campbell and the interior presence of senior Riley Hilton, Nation Ford opened the second half on a 13-3 run to pull away from York after trailing by one at the half.
“Our kids showed a lot of poise,” said Falcons head coach Michael Tew.
“We didn’t panic. I am as proud of them as I can be. Mike has been playing awesome as of late and our guard play is getting more consistent.”
York took off to open the game, hitting just less than 50 percent from the field to take a 17-11 lead. Nation Ford rallied in the second quarter and it was the Falcons who starting hitting the basket while shooting 53 percent from the field to up the pace. The Falcons’ push allowed them to tie the game at 26 with less than two minutes left in the first half. From there, the teams traded baskets until York took a one-point edge into the half, though it was Nation Ford that really had the momentum.
From the opening possession of the second half, the Falcons took command and played smarter by looking for the open shot and jumped out to a 13-3 start in the quarter. York was able to hang with them due to their athleticism, but both team struggled with turnovers in the quarter.
Each team scored 18 points in the third quarter and York still took a one point lead into the final period. However, Nation Ford quickly seized an opportunity and opened with three straight buckets while going on a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
York’s shooting went cold and the Cougars started the final period 0-5 from the field, hitting just three of 13 shots in the quarter. At the same time, Nation Ford caught fire, getting open drives to the basket. Campbell scored 12 of his 25 points in the final quarter, when Hilton tallied nine of his 13 for the game.
The win improved Nation Ford’s record to 2-3 on the season heading into the holiday break. Still there is basketball to be played for both of the Falcons’ teams as they participate in the YC Wilborn Holiday Classic at Rock Hill High.