GREENVILLE — Coming off a seventh place finish at the Shootout By The Sea tournament at North Myrtle Beach, Fort Mill boys’ basketball team got off to another bad start at the Dan Joyner Poinsettia Classic in Greenville.
The Jackets lost to Eastside 48-44 in the opening game of the nine-team post-Christmas tournament at Greenville High School.
Fort Mill was up by two at the half, 24-22, but struggled mightily in the second half taking just 15 shots. The Jackets were hurt by its rebounding and ball handling and had 26 turnovers in the game.
“Our kids played hard, we just had too many turnovers,” said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe.
When it came to rebounding, the Jackets missed those opportunities there as well.
“I know of three big ones we missed out on for free throws that shouldn’t have happened,” Hartsoe said.
Hartsoe said that his team’s biggest issue is its health as many players are battling illnesses. The team has dropped three of its past four games.
In the Poinsettia opener, Fort Mill came out in the second half against Eastside and struggled to get any shots off. The Jackets didn’t attempt its first field goal in the second half until two and-a-half minutes had passed by in the third quarter. By then they had already had four turnovers in the period and had allowed Eastside to jump ahead.
Fort Mill finally scored at the 4:15 mark and got hot toward the end of the quarter hitting four of its six shots in the period. However, the Jackets allowed six turnovers in the third quarter and Eastside hit five of its 12 shots to take a 35-33 lead.
Still, Fort Mill was able to keep up with Eastside due to its own struggles in shooting the ball in the second half. The Eagles hit just eight of 25 second half shots.
The Jackets tied the game at 37 with 5:30 left in the fourth on a three point play by senior Devan Thacker, who led Fort Mill with 16 points.
From there the game went back-and-fourth with both teams trading the lead several times. It wasn’t until down the stretch, that Eastside converted on seven of its 12 fourth quarter foul shots, that they were able to close the game out.
Fort Mill hit just two of six free throws in the second half.