YORK — The York Comprehensive High Cougars boys’ basketball team split games with Lancaster and Nation Ford last week, defeating the Bruins 75-55 and falling to Nation Ford 57-51.
In an earlier game Friday, the Lady Cougars basketball team also fell to Nation Ford, 55-41.
Though the boys’ team fell to Nation Ford in a low-scoring home game, first-year head coach Michael Dalton said likes what he has seen the past three games.
“It was the third game in a row we’ve held our opponent to less than 59 points,” Dalton said. “We’re playing great defense. Our shots wouldn’t fall against Nation Ford.”
Dalton said senior Taye McConnell has been spearheading the defense. “He plays with a lot of intensity on defense,” Dalton said.
Dalton also credited the rebounding of Jerome Pettiway, Josh McCoy and Shemar Wade for the Cougars success.
The Cougars’ Deshaw Andrews and Daurice Simpson are among the Upstate’s top scorers, with 28.3 and 23.6 points per game, respectively, and Dalton is looking for a third scorer to emerge.
“Our kids continue to play hard,” he said. “There’s no quit in them. They continue to battle.”
The Cougars had a sizzling first quarter in the win against Lancaster, bolting to a 29-16 lead to close the period. With the score knotted at seven in the early moments, Simpson and Andrews spearheaded a 22-6 run that put the Cougars ahead 29-16 to start the second.
Lancaster sliced the lead to eight, 41-33, at the half.
The Cougars expanded that lead to 12 in the third quarter and sealed the win in the fourth.
Andrews finished with a game-high 32 points; Simpson had 16.
The boys’ and girls’ teams both play Friday at Fort Mill.
In the girls match, the Lady Cougars were trailing 8-1 in the early moments of the first quarter, when junior Carrie Lee Lancaster, a 6-foot-1-inch all-region performer last season, scored a basket and converted a free throw to slice the lead to four.
Freshman power forward Heather Pumphrey then scored down low and Nation Ford’s lead was two points.
Lancaster hit a pair of free throws to make the Lady Falcons’ lead 10-9, but point guard Makala Love’s 3-pointer put the Lady Cougars ahead 12-10 as the first quarter drew to a close.
Nation Ford regained the lead and the momentum in the second quarter, building a 15-point lead and holding that lead to double-digit the rest of the game.
“We missed Keshia McClure’s athleticism,” said York head coach Paula Blackwell. “She’s recovering from a hip injury.”
Blackwell said the Lady Cougars had opportunities after Nation Ford established the lead. “We had good looks at the basket and the shots wouldn’t fall,” she said. “Our post players played well. Carrie Lee had a monster game.”
The Lady Cougars also fell to Lancaster 62-23 last week.