YORK — The York Comprehensive High School Cougar basketball team battled Fort Mill in a closely-contested game before the holiday break, with the visiting Yellow Jackets rallying from behind to prevail 69-64.
York’s Deshaw Andrews, who is becoming one of the most prolific scorers in the Palmetto State, was more than Fort Mill could handle.
The junior forward poured in a season-high 39 points with an array of shots from close range to three-point land.
Six-foot-2 senior Shemar Wade made his presence felt on both ends of the court, finishing with 12 points and several drives to the hoop in game-changing situations.
“I play aggressively and have the confidence to shoot the ball or take it to the hoop when there’s an opening,” Wade said. “Rebounding is the key to success as we continuing our region games in the weeks to come.”
YCHS head coach Michael Dalton lauded Andrews’ scoring onslaught and said the Cougars are making adjustments as the team enters a full slate of region games.
“We’ve got to learn to finish in the fourth quarter,” he said.
With the Cougars leading 36-29 to start the third quarter, Andrews scored consecutive baskets, the second a power move to the basket and subsequent free throw, staking the Cougars to a 41-29 advantage.
It appeared the home-standing Cougars were in the driver’s seat until the Yellow Jackets came alive in the final minutes of the quarter to tie the game at 45-all.
With Fort Mill scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter, YCHS senior Taye McConnel nailed a three-pointer, slicing the lead to a single point at 49-48.
Though York made it a closely-contested game the rest of the way, the Cougars were unable the shave the lead to less than three points.
With Fort Mill leading 56-51 midway through the final quarter, the teams traded baskets. After a basket by Andrews kept the lead at three, consecutive baskets by Wade made it a one-possession game.
But the Yellow Jackets were able to pull away down the stretch for the 69-64 win.
Rounding out the scoring or the Cougars, Markell Castle had four points, CJ Shannon and McConnel, three each, and Josh McCoy and Jerome Pettiway, two each.
The Cougars jump back into the region slate Friday at Northwestern. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start following the girls’ game at 6:30 p.m.