CLOVER — York head coach Michael Dalton credits the team’s defense in the 66-54 defeat of Clover Friday night.
“Our aggressive defensive play made the difference tonight,” Dalton said. “We’ve worked on our defense at practice and the players are buying into it. This was a great win against our rival. We made some big free throws.”
The team also saw good offense, especially from Daurice Simpson, a junior playmaking point guard, who had28 points in the victory.
Earlier in the week, Rock Hill defeated the Cougars in a closely-contested game, with the Bearcats prevailing, 79-74.
Dalton hopes the Cougar’s winning ways will carry over to this week’s Region 3-AAAA games. “Our defensive goal every game is to hold our opponent below 60 points,” he said.
Junior guard Shemar Wade agrees.
“We beat Clover tonight because of our free throw shooting and defense,” Wade said. “It was a great win.”
The first quarter ended 14 all. But, the Cougars built a 31-26 halftime lead.
The Blue Eagles mounted a rally in the fourth quarter, but Simpson continued his torrid pace, nailing a three-pointer to start the final quarter.
A pair of free throws by Wade and a tap follow by Josh McCoy expanded the lead to 60-49 and the Cougars held on down the stretch for the win.
Also contributing were DeShaw Andrews and Wade, who finished with 19 and 11 points, respectively.
Rounding out the scoring for the visitors from Cougar Country, Taye McConnell had 6 points; McCoy, 2; and Bryson Stephenson, 1.
In the game against the Bearcats, the Cougars were trailing 79-58 midway through the fourth quarter, when the York team made things interesting.
Simpson and Andrews went on a scoring spree that put the Bearcats’ lead in jeopardy.
With less than two minutes left in the game, the Rock Hill lead was 76-73. But the visiting Bearcats held on down the stretch for the win.
The YCHS boys host Nation Ford at 8 p.m. Friday at home after the girls’ game at 6:30 p.m.