YORK — First-year York Comprehensive High School head boys basketball coach Larry Dixon said after the team's opening season loss to Indian Land that football players making the transition to basketball would impact the team.
“They've just returned to practice,” Dixon said. “It will take time.”
Last Friday, Dixon's projections came to light as the resurgent Cougars rolled past Chester 73-56.
The sophomore duo of Daurice Simpson and Deshaw Andrews proved to be more than the Cyclones could handle.
Simpson, a fleet-footed pass receiver for the Cougar football team, scored 23 points and Andrews, the junior varsity quarterback, finished with 21 points.
Both Simpson and Andrews were freshman starters for the Cougar varsity cagers last season.
Simpson is a swift-footed playmaking guard who impacts the game with his athleticism. Andrews is a 6-3, 220-pound power forward who can light it up from 3-point range.
Simpson and Andrews had a fine support cast in the decisive win over the visiting Cyclones.
Markell Castle, another go-to receiver for the football Cougars, finished in double figures with 14 points.
Rounding out the scoring, Kaiyon Schrouder scored 6 points, with Matt Ransom, KJ Jones and Jerome Pettiway (the football punter) each scoring 3 points.
The Cougars hung tough in the first half against Indian Land but the Warriors built a 15-point third quarter lead and held off the YCHS team down the stretch to win 73-65.
After falling behind 20-11 in the early moments of the second quarter, the Cougars began pecking away at the lead.
Schrouder scored on a follow-up and Simpson converted a pair of free throws. Two baskets by Andrews, an Andrews 3-pointer and Simpson's score sliced the lead to a scant point at 27-26.
But Indian Land was equal to the task, scoring 6 unanswered points to lead at halftime 33-26.
The Cougars fought back from a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter but the Warriors held on to win by eight.
“We've just reached the point where the football players are practicing with the team,” Dixon said after the Indian Land loss. “The football team had a great year.
“We will be more competitive in the future.”
Chester ran into a more competitive Cougar contingent last Friday.
The Cougars travel to Chester Friday night for an 8 p.m. tipoff.