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The York Comprehensive High School girls basketball team completed a successful pre-region slate by defeating Chester 52-48 last Friday in Cyclone Country.
Trailing 40-37 in the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Lady Cougars began pecking away at the lead.
Sophomore post player Carrie Lee Lancaster, who had a monster game with 16 points and 18 rebounds, scored to slice Chester's lead to a scant point.
A free throw by Jada Mobley-Weeks knotted the score at 40-all.
Senior floor leader ReRe Dervin, who scored a game-high 18 points, nailed two free throws to push the lead to 42-40.
After Chester regained the lead at 43-42, Kelondra Lytle converted two free throws and the Lady Cougars never trailed again.
With the YCHS girls clinging to a three-point lead with and the outcome still in doubt with less that a minute to play, Lancaster scored on a put back and added a free throw in the game's final second to seal the win.
Lady Cougar head coach Paula Blackwell was all smiles after the game.
“It was our first win at Chester in five years,” she noted. “We wanted to win the game for our six seniors.
While lauding the overall team effort and the individual play of Dervin and Lancaster, Blackwell said the Lady Cougars were able to overcome foul trouble and adversity to secure the win.
The YCHS coach emptied the bench the last minute-and-half of the third quarter to rest the starters, a ploy that proved to be successful.
“I told our substitutes to hold Chester's first team scoreless and they responded,” said Blackwell. “We stole some time.
“I am proud of the kids. We are 4-0.”
Lancaster pointed to several contributing factors in the satisfying win away from home.
“The way we played defense and were able to keep our composure with the game on the line were keys to winning a big game on the road,” commented Lancaster. “All of the hard work at practice is paying off.”
Lytle, a senior mainstay, had her ideas about the keys to the win.
“We hit some big free throws late in the game,” said Lytle, whose clutch free throw shooting contributed to the win.
When asked if she had confidence at the charity stripe, she replied with a wide grin, “ I have to shoot with confidence.”
Lytle said winning a big game on the road helps the team prepare for region play.
In earlier action last week, the Lady Cougars had a trio of players score 12 points each to spearhead a 49-45 win over Indian Land.
Trailing by a single point with 52 seconds remaining, Dervin made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
“We pulled out a win at Indian Land,” Blackwell said of the closely-contested game. “We really had to battle a feisty group which had had two starters that were missing from last week.”
Dervin, Lancaster and Lytle each score 12 points to lead the scoring.
“Sarah Latham hit two big jump shots in the third quarter,” said Blackwell. “Taylor Sharp played great defense on the top of our half-court trap and Jada Mobley-Weeks played huge minutes at the post, making key baskets and excellent feeds to her teammates.”
The Lady Cougars travel to Fort Mill Friday for the first road Region 3-AAAA game of the season. The action begins at 6:30 p.m., with the boys game to follow at 8 p.m. in Yellow Jacket Country.