FORT MILL — A tightly contested game came down to a slow and methodical fourth quarter from both Nation Ford and Fort Mill girls basketball squads.
In the end, it came down to who made their free throws and Fort Mill senior Arianna Grevious hit two key ones with about four seconds left to seal the 34-33 win for the Lady Jackets.
With everything going on last week, we had a hard time finding time to practice, said Fort Mill head coach Brett Childers, referring to a winter storm that brought snow and ice and closed school for three days.
We didnt execute great, but Im real proud of the energy they came out with.
Lady Jackets freshman Meredith Christopher hit a key 3-pointer to tie the game at 32 with 62 seconds left in the game sending Fort Mill crowd into a frenzy.
Nation Fords Haley Fulton hit the second of two free throws with 11.8 seconds to give the Lady Falcons a 33-32 lead. But that allowed Fort Mill one more possession and Grevious made the most of it.
The first time Fort Mill and Nation Ford met, the Lady Falcons were without senior Taylor Yarborough, who was out nursing an injury. This time, the Lady Jackets were without a key player in junior Ally Abbott, who broke a bone in her left arm against Clover recently. Abbott is done for the season as Fort Mill will open the playoffs Thursday, most likely at Dorman.
Coming into the game, Yarborough, already the schools all-time leading scorer boys and girls was just eight points away from 1,000 points for her career. She ended up with eight points in the game after being double team most of the time.
Nation Ford closed the gap to start the second half on a 3-0 start, but Fort Mills Christopher widened that gap with a 3-pointer.
The game would go back-and-forth from that point, with neither team pulling away. Yarborough tied the game at 26 with about a minute left in the third quarter, which gave her 1,000 points for her career.
Offensively, Fort Mill and Nation Ford both struggled to open the second quarter as neither teams shots would fall.
Fort Mills Kayla Godwin broke the scoring drought for both at 5:30 in the period as the Lady Jackets closed to within a basket. Godwin would later give Fort Mill the lead with a 3-pointer, but Nation Fords Brooklyn Bailey tied it up on the Lady Falcons next possession.
Fort Mill would go on a 5-0 run before the end of the first half to make it 19-14 at the break.
Both teams came out going at each other, but neither got hot early. Nation Ford started trapping the ball early, but the Lady Jackets were able to move around it.
The Lady Falcons gave up possession in the opening quarter struggling to hold onto the ball. Nation Ford was able to regroup and started going inside to get to the line and get higher percentage shots.
Fort Mill 34, Nation Ford 33
Nation Ford Taylor Yarborough 8, Sydney Adams 6, Brooklyn Bailey 4, Alixis Roccia 4, Dani Shaddix 4, Chynna Crawford 4, Courtney Wells 2, Haley Fulton 1. Fort Mill Arianna Grevious 11, Meredith Christopher 11, Sharae Redmond 5, Kayla Godwin 5, Sierra Patterson 2.
3-pointers: Nation Ford 2 (Bailey, Roccia), Fort Mill 4 (Christopher 3, Godwin). Team fouls Nation Ford 17, Fort Mill 23. Fouled out None.
Records: Nation Ford 9-15, 4-10 Region III-AAAA; Fort Mill 17-7, 9-5 Region III-AAAA.