YORK — The York Comprehensive High School girls’ basketball team competed favorably against Northwestern before the region title-contending Lady Trojans pulled away in the second half to prevail 55-18 Friday.
In an earlier game last week, the Lady Cougars faced South Pointe, which raced to a 15-point first quarter lead and defeated the Lady Cougars 80-22
In the Northwestern game, freshman Keshia McClure’s basket put the Lady Cougars ahead 2-1 in the early stages of the first quarter.
With Northwestern leading 7-2, York’s Carrie Lee Lancaster converted a pair of free throws, slicing the lead to 7-4 to conclude a low-scoring first quarter before a noisy crowd in Trojan Country.
Freshman power forward Heather Pumphrey made her presence felt in a huge way in the early moments of the second quarter.
Pumphrey, a fierce competitor who plays considerably taller than her 5-foot-8 frame, made a free throw to pull the YCHS girls within two.
Moments later, with the Lady Trojans up 9-5, Pumphrey scored on a power move to the basket, cutting into Northwestern’s lead once again.
The Northwestern girls went on a tear until Pumphrey scored midway through the second quarter.
Pumphrey scored another basket and the freshman stalwart and Lancaster added free throws but it wasn’t enough, with Northwestern expanding the lead to 38-12 to conclude third-quarter play.
Lancaster had a productive fourth quarter, including an aggressive putback in heavy taffic, but the Lady Trojans expanded the lead, eventually winning, 55-18.
Pumphrey and Lancaster each scored eight points to lead the Lady Cougars offensively.
Lancaster, a junior post player who made the all-region team last year, had a monster game for the lady Cougars. In addition to scoring eight points, Lancaster hauled in 11 rebounds and was credited with four shot rejections.
“With her rebounding, scoring and blocked shots, I would say Carrie Lee played the best game of her career,” said head coach Paula Blackwell after the game.
The YCHS coach lauded the players for competing against a region frontrunner in the first half before the home-standing Trojans’ offensive surge sealed the win in the second half.
“We aren’t satisfied with losing,” assured Blackwell in her postgame remarks. “The kids are playing hard and continue to improve.”
Junior mainstay Lancaster, a starter since the eighth grade, feels positive about a youth movement that includes five ninth-graders assuming key roles this season.
“We are a young team,” commented Lancaster. “
She talked about the team’s camaraderie and player development.
“I love my teammates,” declared Lancaster. “Their support makes me play harder.”
The Lady Cougars travel to Clover Friday to battle their rival Lady Blue Eagles, with a 6:30 p.m. start on tap.
“Playing Clover is always a big game for both schools and communities,” Blackwell said. “Our kids look forward to playing them.”
The boys’ game is set for an 8 p.m. tipoff following the girls’ action in Blue Eagle Country.