ROCK HILL — Both the Nation Ford boys’ and girls’ basketball team finished in fifth place at the YC Winborn Holiday Classic at Rock Hill High before Christmas.
A torrid start by Nation Ford boy’s helped to propel the team to a 71-36 win against St. James and rebound from an earlier loss.
The Falcons were led by senior Mike Campbell, who had 25 and made the All-Tournament team. The boys shot 66 percent in the first half from the field and 23-for-27 from the charity stripe. Senior Riley Hilton added 13 points for the Falcons.
Nation Ford opened the game on a 12-2 run and outscored St. James 23-8 in the second quarter to take a 40-13 halftime lead. The Falcons stayed aggressive on both ends of the court and continuously trapped the ball on the defensive side, which led to 20 St. James turnovers in the game.
Offensively, a lot of those turnovers turned into fast-break points for the Falcons.
“Little by little we are getting better,” said Falcons’ head coach Michael Tew. “We are nowhere near were we want to be. I am real pleased with our progress. I am pleased with how the kids are playing together.”
Nation Ford shot 70 percent in the first quarter and then 64 percent in the second quarter to take a 27-point halftime lead.
However, the Falcons’ defense was as impressive as its offense, as the team held St. James without a field goal in the second quarter and just two field goals in the first half as the Low Country team went 2-14 in the first half.
The Falcons rested the starters in the third quarter, so St. James cut the Nation Ford lead to 23 points entering the fourth. Once the Falcons starters came back on the court for the final period, they outscored St. James 20-8.
Yarborough leads girls
The Lady Falcons were led by All-Tournament team member senior Taylor Yarborough, who scored 25 points in Nation Ford’s defeat of Olympic 54-46.
The Lady Falcons trailed by two at the half, 20-18, but outscored Olympic 21-14 in the third quarter to regain the lead. Nation Ford senior Zippy Lincoln scored nine of her 13 points in the second half as the Lady Falcons missed just two shots in the third quarter, going 10-for-12 from the field.
“We did a better job in the second half,” said Lady Falcons head coach Mike Smith. “I am real proud of how they finished the game.”
Nation Ford opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take the lead as they pressured Olympic on defense forcing eight turnovers in the third quarter.
Lincoln, who scored six in the third quarter, eighth-grader Brooklyn Bailey and freshman Sydney Adams – who scored four points in the quarter – contributed to Nation Ford taking command of the game.
Nation Ford struggled some in the fourth quarter with turnovers, as Olympic became more aggressive at time pushing the Lady Falcons to the foul line.
Down the stretch, both Yarborough and Lincoln came up with big buckets, including a 3-pointer by Yarborough in the fourth quarter with about 5:15 left that helped to give the Lady Falcons a boost.
Nation Ford 54, Olympic 46
Nation Ford – Taylor Yarborough 25, Zippy Lincoln 13, Jessie Raniszweski 4, Brooklyn Bailey 4, Sydney Adams 4, Chynna Crawford 2, Courtney Wells 2. Olympic – Jenesai Mohammed 23, Justice Montgomery 9, Chelsea Redd 7, Kendra Nesmith 3, Khayla Dawson 2, Brandice Byrd 2.
3 –pointers: Nation Ford 1 (Yarborough), Olympic 3 (Mohammed). Team fouls – Nation Ford 13, Olympic 22. Fouled out – Chelsea Redd (O), Aja Jones (O).
Records: Nation Ford 6-5.
Nation Ford 71, St. James 36
Nation Ford – Mike Campbell 25, Riley Hilton 13, Dalton Rose 8, Desean McCain 8, Cameron Holmes 6, Elijah Jennings 4, Jacob Patterson 3, Jack Hagood 2, Clay Hunt 2. St. James – Zach Werba 10, Garrett Mullis 6, Dakota Holmes 6, Jackson Hurston 5, Ashiek Gren 3, Josh Roper 2, Tristan Fields 2, Donivan Phillips 2.
3-pointers – Nation Ford 4 (Holmes 2, Rose, Campbell), St. James 3 (Werba 2, Hurston). Team fouls – Nation Ford 20, St. James 24. Fouled out – Donivan Phillips (St. James).
Records: Nation Ford 4-4