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The York Comprehensive High varsity basketball teams make the short trek to Nation Ford Friday.
The Region 3-AAAA double-header begins with the girls game at 6:30 p.m. followed by boys action at 8 p.m.
The Cougars fell to longtime rival Clover 42-35 in a closely-contested game before a noisy crowd in York last Friday. With the offense clicking on all cylinders, the Cougars came out sizzling in the first quarter, building a 12-2 lead.
The visiting Blue Eagles began pecking away in the early moments of the second quarter.
A steal and basket by Taylor Hoover sliced the lead to 16-11 midway through the quarter.
Daurice Simpson answered for York, extending the lead to 18-11. The teams battled on near even terms the remainder of the quarter, with the Cougars clinging to a 19-13 lead at halftime.
The Cougars began the third quarter protecting their lead, with DeShaw Andrews and Maurice Simpson scoring key baskets.
A putback by Josh McCoy had York leading 25-21, but Clover answered and led 29-25 to start the fourth quarter.
The Blue Eagles expanded the lead to six until York’s Lamin Yansaneh scored with less than a minute remaining, slicing the lead to three at 38-35.
Clover finished strong, converting free throws in the final seconds for the win.
YCHS head coach Larry Dixon said a lack of experience showed at critical stages of the game, particularly down the stretch.
“Turnovers were costly,” said the former Winthrop University assistant coach. “We began taking quick shots and got away from the flow and the rotation that helped us build the lead.”
Concluded Dixon, “It was a tough loss. “We don’t want to let the community down, The kids played hard.”
Simpson paced the scoring for the Cougars with 12 points. Markell Castle scored 8 points; Andrews, 6; Tawaun Neely, 5; and McCoy and Kaiyon Schrouder, 2 each.
In earlier action last week, the Cougars fell to Rock Hill 59-50 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.
Battling the region’s first place team on even terms for much of the game, the Cougars trailed by a single point with 59.9 showing on the scoreboard clock.
Suddenly, a technical foul was called on the Cougars’ bench, much to the surprise of Dixon.
The YCHS coach said he was yelling instructions on how to foul to extend the game and nothing else was said.
The Bearcats took advantage of the opportunity, converting free throws down the stretch for the win.
Andrews led balanced scoring for the Cougars with 20 points. Simpson added 13; Castle, 11; Schrouder, 4; and Neely, 2.
YCHS girls fall to Lady Blue Eagles
Playing with a lot of heart and hustle, the Lady Cougars of YCHS fell to defending region champ Clover 54-27.
Though the YCHS girls were playing with a depleted roster in a rebuilding season, head coach Paula Blackwell lauded the team for laying it on the line.
“The kids played hard tonight,” said Blackwell after the game.
“Several players stepped up, including Alawna Orr,” she noted. “Hannah Castle played well and Nahja Feemster helped us after moving up from the jayvee team this week.”
Blackwell commended the play of senior Latrellini Mobley and sophomore Carrie Lee Lancaster.
Mobley was sizzling from 3-point range, converting three from beyond the arc. Lancaster had another productive game in the post with 15 points.
The Lady Blue Eagles assumed control of the proceedings in the early going, building a 17-4 lead and moving ahead 24-9 at the half.
The Lady Cougars got into an offensive rhythm in the latter stages of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
Lancaster and Orr closed out the scoring in the third quarter, Orr scoring after a steal and Lancaster working her way inside for a basket. Lancaster and Mobley had key baskets in a productive fourth quarter for the Lady Cougars.
Lancaster got things started with the first basket of the final stanza.
Mobley nailed two 3-pointers down the stretch, including the final basket of the game from 3-point land.
The Lady Cougars stayed within striking distance of Rock Hill before bowing 43-32 to the cross-county rival.
The YCHS team controlled the tempo for much of the game, forcing the Lady Bearcats to play at their pace.
The YCHS girls kept battling and trailed by only five points, 29-24, as the fourth quarter began.
Lancaster scored 8 points for York, as did Mobley, who converted two 3-pointers during the game.