Nation Ford Falcons edge Lancaster Bruins to even region record; girls’ team loses key starter

mbanks@comporium.netJanuary 11, 2014 

Nation Ford suffered a painful road loss at Rock Hill last week then came back to defeat Lancaster.

STEPHANIE MARKS MARTELL — STEPHANIE MARKS MARTELL

— A back-and-forth battle between Nation Ford and Lancaster came out in favor of the Falcons as the team improved to 2-2 in Region III play with a 47-45 win against the Bruins.

Senior Riley Hilton hit senior Dalton Rose with a baseline pass with 68 seconds left as Rose put the ball in for a 45-43 lead. Hilton, who scored 21 to lead Nation Ford, would ice the game in the closing seconds with free throws.

“A win is a win,” said Falcons head coach Michael Tew. “More importantly we are 2-2 in the region and still relevant.”

Nation Ford rallied in the fourth quarter after trailing 35-25 at the end of the third. The Falcons opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to tie the game as junior Clay Hunt scored his only points of the game with a 3-pointer to tie it at 35.

The Falcons shot 60 percent from the field in the final quarter, while Lancaster struggled, shooting just 40 percent.

Nation Ford led 21-20 at the half, but Lancaster started the third quarter on a 6-0 run and outscored the Falcons 15-4 in the period. Nation Ford started the quarter going 0-6 from the field and hit just one of nine shots in the period. The Falcons didn’t score their first points until 1:53 left in the quarter, while Lancaster went on a 12-0 run during that time.

Earlier in the week, Rock Hill defeated Nation Ford 70-40.

Girls win, but lose key player

The Lady Falcons are hurting in more ways than one after beating Rock Hill 57-50. Nation Ford got the win, but lost senior leader Taylor Yarborough to a high right ankle sprain. She was put in a cast and is slated to be out three to five weeks.

She is optimistic she can be back for the playoffs.

“We are going to have to find some rhythm and find other options,” Lady Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. “She isn’t someone you can replace. We have to find a different way.”

Nation Ford struggled against Lancaster in the second half in a 63-40 loss. After the Lady Falcons trailed 29-21 at the half but kept pace with the Lady Bruins, Lancaster exploded in the third quarter outscoring the Lady Falcons 25-6.

Lancaster’s Phoebe Johnson scored 10 of her 16 in the quarter to lead the Lady Bruins.

Nation Ford was led by junior Alixis Roccia, who scored 13 points. Freshman Haley Fulton added nine and senior Zippy Lincoln added eight points in the loss.

Nation Ford hits the road this week going to South Pointe, before coming home to play Fort Mill Friday.

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