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By Gene Graham
YORK The York Comprehensive High School Lady Cougars, striving to improve in a rebuilding season, conclude the 2012-13 season Friday night in Blue Eagle Country.
The triple-header action begins with the girls jayvee game at 5 p.m.
The Lady Cougars will be pitted against coach Sherer Hopkins’ Lady Blue Eagles in the evening’s second game, slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.
Friday’s action against rival Clover will conclude with the Cougars battling the host Blue Eagles at 8 p.m. before a large crowd at the CHS gym.
“Our kids always look forward to the Clover rivalry,” said head coach Paula Blackwell. “It means a lot o the players and the schools.”
The Lady Cougars hung tough with visiting Rock Hill until he Lady Bearcats were able to pull away in the final moments of the first half.
After Rock Hill moved ahead 4-0 to start the game, junior playmaking guard Hannah Cassell got the Lady Cougars on the board followed by senior mainstay Alawna Orr’s basket that knotted the score at 4-all.
With the YCHS girls trailing 10-4 later in first quarter action, consecutive baskets by the sophomore duo of Sarah Latham and Carrie Lee Lancaster sliced Rock Hill’s lead to 10-8 as the quarter ended.
The Lady Bearcats expanded the lead in the second quarter.
A pair of free throws by senior Latrellini Mobley kept the lead at single digits as the YCHS girls trailed 19-10.
Rock Hill was the dominant team the remainder of the first half and into the second half, prevailing 62-23.
Aubrey Wood, an emerging player for the Lady Cougars in the post whose defensive tenacity and rebounding contribute to the team’s success, talked about her role after the game.
“My role is to remain focused and stay positive to help the team,” she said.
Though Wood brings an aggressive style of play to the game, she relies on self-motivation to reach the mindset she desires. “Sometimes I have to make myself mad to play with intensity,” noted Wood.
When an opponent tries to tie her up to make the game official go to the possession arrow, Wood has been known to rank the ball away with authority.
She says it’s her way of saying, “that’s my ball and you can’t have it.”
Despite the loss to another strong region foe, Blackwell lauded the team’s effort.
“Players stepped up,” she noted. “Hannah has decided it’s time to take charge. Aubrey and Najha played well.
“We couldn’t score. That’s been our Achilles’ heel.”
Mobley paced the team in scoring with 5 points. Feemster and Lancaster had 4 each; Cassell, 3; Latham, Orr and Taylr Sharp, 2 each; and Wood, 1.
The Lady Cougars ran into the top team in the region and possibly the state last Friday, with Northwestern winning handily.
“The Northwestern coach showed class and sportsmanship,” noted Blackwell. “He didn’t use the press and considered the feelings of our payers.”