'); } -->
Members of the 2002 York Comprehensive High School girls basketball state championship team were recognized following the York-Nation Ford girls game last week in the YCHS main gym.
Arsonia Stroud, who coaches York Middle School girls basketball, was head coach of the Lady Cougars’ title-clinching team. She was accompanied by current Lady Cougar head coach Paula Blackwell and assistant coach Kristi Kemp.
Both Blackwell and Kemp were assistant coaches when the YCHS team won the state championship.
Speaking with friends and associates during a reception in the school cafeteria following the special ceremony, Stroud talked about he team’s winning effort at Columbia’s Colonial Center.
“Our kids played with heart and wanted it more than their opponent,” said Stroud. “Ivory Latta was doing what Ivory does and there were other dynamics. The team concept played a huge role in our success.
“So many players contributed to the championship title performance.”
Said Stroud while pausing to reflect, “Michelle (Dennis) drew a charge at a critical stage of the game that sent our opponent’s post player out of the game with her fifth personal foul.”
Dennis, who is now Michelle Young and teaches in the York school district, remembers her playing days with the state championship team. “We had the hustle and the heart to win the state title,” she recalls. “We wanted it and played as a team.”
Latta, the career scoring leader in South Carolina high school basketball and a legendary player at UNC-Chapel Hill , led the WNBA Tulsa Shock is scoring last season.
She said winning the state championship was special.
“I have fond memories of playing basketball at YCHS,” Latta said. “The crowd support was great and the dome (where the YCHS teams played) was the best ever. And I mean ever!”