'); } -->
The York Comprehensive High School boys basketball team had experienced several near misses competing in always-tough Region 3-AAAA.
But all of that changed last Friday at Nation Ford.
With sophomore forward DeShaw Andrews torching the nets for 32 points, the Cougars notched region win number two on the road, defeating Nation Ford 65-54.
Nation Ford had no answer for Andrews, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder with a feathery shooting touch whereever he touches the ball.
Though Andrews scored 11 first-quarter points, the Cougars trailed 16-13 in Falcon Country.
But that would soon change as second-quarter action began.
After a basket by senior Kaiyon Schrouder, a basket by Andrews pushed the Cougars ahead 17-16.
D. J. Simpson’s free throw made it 18-16.
The lead see-sawed for the next while and with the score knotted at 20-all midway through the second stanza, Lamin Yansaneh drilled a 3-pointer for a 23-20 York lead.
Moments later, point guard Daurice Simpson’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 26-21.
Two free throws by Yansaneh closed out the first-half scoring for the visitors from York as the Cougars entered the break leading 28-23.
“We grew up tonight and executed,” first-year head coach Larry Dixon said after the game.
While Dixon was pleased with the offensive output, including Andrews’ hot shooting, he lauded the team’s defensive effort.
“D. J. Simpson impacted the game with great defensive play,” noted the YCHS coach. “It’s the kind of defensive play that can be contagious.
“We are stressing defense at this stage of the season.”
While lauding the team’s play on both ends of the court, Dixon will be looking for more of the same as the upstart Cougars seek to make a move in the region standings.
A double-digit win at Nation Ford got the coach’s attention.
“We beat the number three team in the region on the road tonight,” Dixon said with a grin.
Andrews talked about his scoring barrage in typical modest demeanor.
“I was shooting with confidence and getting into a rhythm,” the burly softy-spoken forward said. “We were able to kick the ball out to an open teammate off the penetration dribble.”
Daurice Simpson, a slick playmaking guard who uses his quickness and speed to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, said what he felt were the keys to the road win.
“We cut down on turnovers and were able to execute,” he said. “We will need more of the same to be successful in future region games.”
Though the Cougars led by five at halftime, Nation Ford came roaring back, building a 33-30 lead in the early stages of the third quarter.
Consecutive baskets by (you guessed it) Andrews, the latter a 3-pointer, put the Cougars up 35-33.
Once again, the Falcons answered the challenge, going up 39-37.
Schrouder’s basket and free throw gave the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish.
Andrews continued to be Nation Ford’s worst nightmare, closing out the third quarter scoring with a basket and two 3-pointers, extending the lead to 48-39.
After the Falcons had sliced the lead to five in the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Cougars expanded the lead and coasted to the win.
With Andrews’ 32 points leading the way, Simpson (Daurice) was next with 15 points. Tawauan Neely had 7 points, Schrouder 6 and D. J. Simpson 5.
Andrews had four 3-pointers, Daurice Simpson 2 and Neely 1.
The Cougars will entertain Fort Mill Friday, beginning at 8 p.m. The action begins with the girls game at 6:30 p.m.