Nation Ford girls’, boys’ top York in region basketball showdown

mbanks@comporium.netJanuary 28, 2014 

— In a scrappy game that saw the Nation Ford Falcons shoot 41 free throws, things went the Falcons way as they held off York for a 57-51 win to return to .500 in Region III-AAAA.

The win puts Nation Ford at 10-9 on the season and 4-4 in the region. But there is still more work to be done, said Falcons’ head coach Michael Tew, and by more people.

“For us to accomplish our goal, which is to make the playoffs,” Tew said. “We need to have more people step up. We started the season looking for milestones, double digit wins, and making the playoffs. This puts us back at 4-4 in the region, which means we are still relevant.”

Nation Ford was led by seniors Riley Hilton, with 22 points and Dalton Rose, with 16 points.

With things tied at halftime and up by just one at 42-41 to start the final quarter, the Falcons jumped out to a 4-0 run to open and then got key baskets from Hilton and key free-throws from Rose in the quarter.

Nation Ford went 7-for-15 from the foul line in the fourth and for the game went 25-41, not bad considering York shot just 21 free throws the entire game.

The Falcons’ play in the paint was key to their win, as they crashed the borders from the second quarter onward to climb back into the game after being down 17-14 after the first quarter.

Yarborough returns

On the girls’ side , Nation Ford stopped a four-game slide by beating York 55-41, in a game that also saw the return of senior Taylor Yarborough, who has been out with an injured ankle.

Yarborough scored just five in her return seeing limited action, but junior Alixis Roccia and eighth-grader Brooklyn Bailey led the charge for the Lady Falcons.

“I liked the way we opened things up,” said Lady Falcons head coach Mike Smith. “I am proud of the team effort. Alixis and Brooklyn stepped up. I am proud of our defense.”

The win put Nation Ford at 3-5 in region play and 8-10 overall. Smith thinks his still has time to correct the ship and made the playoffs.

“We have to play our way back into it,” he said.

Roccia led the Lady Falcons with 17 points and Bailey had 16 as Nation Ford outscored York 26-9 in the second quarter to pull ahead to a 36-21 lead at the half.

Nation Ford will have two home games this week, the first on Tuesday against Rock Hill and the second on Friday against Clover.

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