'); } -->
Hosting last week's Palmetto Rehab Tipoff Tournament enabled York Comprehensive High School head basketball coach Paula Blackwell to evaluate players before opening regular season play this week.
“The tournament experience is good for the girls,” said Blackwell during a break in the action. “We're building depth as the season draws near.”
Blackwell said there are six seniors on this season's 12-player roster, including three who didn't play last year. One of the senior returnees is smooth-shooting guard Kelondra Lytle, who's capable of double-figure scoring.
Lytle said the Palmetto Rehab Tournament enabled the less experienced players on the team to gain valuable experience.
“We have younger players who are adjusting to varsity play,” she said. “The more we play together, the better our team will be.”
“We're working hard at practice to get where we need to be.”
Lytle, whose court presence can be vital to the team's success, has assumed a leadership role this season.
“I want to help the new players overcome their mistakes and gain confidence,” said Lytle.
Though Carrie Lee Lancaster is only a sophomore, the 6-foot-1 post player is entering her third season of varsity play.
Lancaster, a fundamentally sound post player who scored 12 points in a loss to Fort Mill last week, worked hard in the offseason to elevate her game.
“I worked on my conditioning more than anything else,” she said. “I feel I can run the court better this season.”
Lancaster is excited about the new season.
“We have a blend of experience and new players that can get it done,” she said of this year's roster. “We have great team chemistry.”
Senior floor leader ReRe Dervin shared scoring honors with Lancaster, finishing with 12 points against Fort Mill.
Blackwell is looking for Dervin to set the pace for the Lady Cougars this season.
“ReRe is the glue that keeps it together for us on the court,” Blackwell said of the all-region candidate.
“Th kids are working hard but still have a lot to learn,” observed the YCHS coach. “Our seniors bring a lot of excitement top the team.”
The Lady Cougars host Chester Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the YCHS main gym.
The Cougars, under first-year head coach Larry Dixon, will battle the visiting Cycones in the second game of the Friday double-header slated for an 8 p.m. start.
Dixon is a former assistant basketball coach at Winthrop University and was coach of the year while coaching high school basketball in Charlotte.