Irmo toppled No. 1-ranked Dutch Fork 42-38 at home on Saturday, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the second half.
“You know how great Dutch Fork is, and they’re our biggest rival, so it was a big victory. It means everything,” Yellow Jackets coach Monica Williams said. “I’m glad we won, because it’s going to do a lot for our confidence going into our region schedule.”
The win required perseverance and patience from the Yellow Jackets. Irmo took control in the final minutes, led by senior point guard Ke’asia Jackson.
Irmo (10-4) trailed 31-25 going into the final period but outscored Dutch Fork 17-7 in the end to capture the win.
Jackson posted seven of her eight points in the fourth quarter.
“The game just had to come to her. I know she got frustrated the first half, she missed a few shots, but in the fourth quarter, she started hitting shots and showed some leadership,” Williams said.
With less than five minutes to play, Jackson posted a steal and layup that began Irmo’s comeback. Then she dished to Taylor DeMoss for a basket that made it a two-possession game.
“We just told (our girls) to hold their composure, because we had the lead. But when they sped up, we kept speeding up, and then we lost the momentum,” Dutch Fork coach Faye Norris said.
“We’ve been in that situation, we practiced being in that type of position, but we didn’t fare well in it tonight.”
Jackson’s clean 3-pointer put the Yellow Jackets within one, and Dutch Fork could not respond. In the final four minutes, the Silver Foxes were scoreless and attempted one basket.
“It felt real good to lead my team,” Jackson said.
A Courtney Evans layup gave Irmo the lead with 3:37 left, and the Dutch Fork man-to-man defense could not keep the Yellow Jackets back any longer.
“She came off the bench and really turned around the game,” Williams said.
DeMoss led the Yellow Jackets with 11 points, and Olivia Jabber posted eight offensive rebounds to pace Irmo. Morgan Williams was Dutch Fork’s top scorer with 11 points.
“We missed the mark tonight,” Norris said.
The Silver Foxes fell to 8-3.