The Dutch Fork girls basketball team came away victorious in its rivalry with the Irmo Yellow Jackets, holding off the visitors for a 57-54 victory.
“It feels great to get the win,” Dutch Forkcoach Fayne Norris said. “At this part of the season, we want to win, but I want the girls to keep learning and I don’t want them to get stuck on the fifth game of the season.”
The Foxes (4-1) came out quick in what turned out to be a fast-paced game, jumping to a 13-4 lead off two key plays midway through the first quarter.
First, Darien Dean knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 10-4, and Morgan Williams followed with a three-point play after an Irmo turnover. Williams led her team with 14 points.
After being down 19-7, Irmo (8-1) slowly mounted a comeback over the next three quarters.
The Yellow Jackets used their momentum to get within 8 points in the second when Irmo took advantage of a Silver Fox turnover and a score by Shakira Carter. Feeling the momentum shift, Norris called timeout. Irmo outscored the home team 17-13 in the second frame, bringing the score to 32-24 heading into the break.
The next quarter brought much of the same as the Yellow Jackets started to get hot offensively. Over a three-minute span, Irmo went on a 12-3 run, bringing the score to 46-44 on a mid-range jumper by Ke’Asia Jackson.
After a Jackson basket made it 55-54 in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets had the ball with 0:24 remaining when they called timeout to set up a play.
Coming out of the break, the offense spread the ball around until it found a wide-open Jada Morgan, whose shot bounced off the rim into a Dutch Fork player’s grasp, forcing Irmo to foul. Zhane Green hit both of her shots as the crowd roared, pushing the lead to 57-54 with six ticks left.
Irmo’s last-second shot glanced harmlessly off the basket as the buzzer sounded, locking up the win.
“It’s been a long non-region season,” Irmo coach Monica Williams said. “We dug ourselves in a hole. We didn’t come out with a lot of energy, but Dutch Fork has a great team. We’ve won a lot of close ones, but sometimes you learn more in the ones you don’t win.”
The two teams now head into a couple of holiday tournaments before kicking off their region play.