Lady Cougars extend Fort Mill; face Northwestern

genegraham@comporium.netJanuary 6, 2014 

— The York Comprehensive High School girls’ basketball team threw a scare into Region 3-AAAA powerhouse Fort Mill, bowing 40-39 in a pre-holiday game.

A nail-biter from start to finish, a 3-pointer by Fort Mill’s Madison Hendrix nailed the win for the Lady Jackets with 10.7 seconds left on the clock.

The YCHS girls stayed with highly-regarded Fort Mill step-for-step from the opening moments of the first quarter to the game’s gut-wrenching finish.

Ninth-grade standout Makala Love, an emerging point guard and floor leader in the region, spearheaded a successful third quarter run in which the Lady Cougars held Fort Mill without a field goal.

Love nailed a 3-pointer midway through the quarter, staking host York to a 27-25 lead. The swift playmaking guard converted a 3-pointer to give the Cougars the lead to open the second quarter.

Junior post player Carrie Lee Lancaster, an all-region performer as a sophomore, had another solid floor game with 15 points and more than her share of rebounds.

Love, who had three 3-pointers for the game, finished in double figures with 12 points. Ninth-graders Corri Peeler and Keisha McClure were next in the scoring column with seven and five points, respectively.

“Our kids are growing,” coach Paula Blackwell said. “I am proud of them.”

Lancaster echoed her coach’s sentiments. “It was almost like a small win,” said Lancaster. “We’re making progress and building trust as a team.”

The Lady Cougars had another down-to-the-wire finish in second-day action of the Bank of York/Wing Bonz Christmas Tournament Dec. 31 at the YCHS gym.

York pushed Woodmont to the limit in a 42-34 overtime loss.

With Woodmont clinging to a 25-20 lead after three quarters, York went on a 7-0 run to move ahead 27-25 with slightly over four minutes left in regulation.

Meg McGarity, who’s becoming an offensive force as a freshman guard, got things started with a field goal and free throw.

Love added a free throw and a 3-pointer to send York up by two.

Najha Feemster’s clutch free throw with 59 seconds remaining tied the game, but Woodmont was able to pull away down the stretch for the win.

Byrnes defeated the Lady Cougars 56-30 in opening-day action.

Lancaster scored nine points and Love seven to pace the YCHS girls.

Lower Richland combined solid shooting and aggressive defensive play to defeat Irmo 52-35 in the tournament championship game.

The Lady Cougars resume region play when they travel to Northwestern Friday. The action begins at 6:30 p.m., with the York and Fort Mill boys to tangle at 8 p.m. at the Northwestern gym.

Blackwell is confident there are better days ahead for the youthful York team. “The kids have been improving fundamentally and are learning to play together,” she said.

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