YORK — The York Comprehensive High School girls basketball team is in reload mode with five ninth-graders in key roles, but head coach Paula Blackwell is beginning to see progress.
A example is Friday’s 55-33 loss to a talented Chester team in Cougar Country. The Lady Cougars fell to the Lady Cyclones 71-25 in a previous game at Chester.
With Carrie Lee Lancaster, Makala Love and Najha Feemster scoring key baskets, York-Chester was a nine-point game at the half.
But the Chester girls spurted in the third quarter to expand the lead.
“Our girls showed a huge improvement from our last game with Chester,” said Blackwell. “More players were involved in the offense. Seven players scored. Najha Feemster scored early in the game, and Makala Love is our 32-minute girl. She played the whole game.”
Blackwell said she is developing a good rotation off the bench.
“The kids are working on their shooting at practice,” she said. “They are working on the fundamentals of the game.”
Freshman Corri Peeler’s court presence has been a bright spot for the Lady Cougars.
“You have to have confidence to play at a higher level,” she said. “Some of us played AAU ball together. I think that’s made a difference.”
In earlier action at home last week, the Lady Cougars battled Indian Land on nearly even terms in the first half before the Lady Warriors were able to pull away in the second half to prevail, 46-34.
The first quarter was dead even. With York trailing 10-6 in the latter stages of the first quarter, Aubrey Wood’s putback and Lancaster’s free throws knotted the score at 10-all.
Indian Land built a 21-16 lead in the final moments until Love’s buzzer-beater sliced the lead to 21-19 at the half.
“Our kids executed better than they have all season,” said Blackwell. “We had some shots that wouldn’t fall. Our first-year players are settling in and gaining confidence.”
Lancaster scored 16 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.
“We executed better,” Lancaster said. “I need to pass the ball better. We’re a young team. The key to success in future games is communication.”
The Lady Cougars host Fort Mill Thursday at home, with tipoff slated for 6:30 p.m.