YORK — For three quarters, the York game plan worked to perfection.
The Cougars dictated the tempo and held a one-point lead going into the final eight minutes of action.
Then, Northwestern turned up its defensive pressure, forcing York into a series of errant shots, which Cougars coach Larry Dixon referred to as turnovers.
We took bad shots in the fourth quarter; for three quarters, we got good looks and were patient, but suddenly, began forcing bad shots, Dixon said. What many do not realize is that a bad shot is like a turnover,
They got the rebound and that led to their run outs, in fast-break opportunities.
As a result, the Trojans open the fourth on a seven-point run and took control for a 48-37 road victory at the York High School gymnasium.
Northwestern did not allow a field goal in the final quarter as all six of the Cougars points came from the free-throw line.
Cougars forward Kaiyon Schrouder sank a free throw for a 32-30 lead to open the fourth. However, Mustafa Love picked off a steal and dribbled uncontested for a slam dunk to tie the score.
Trojans guard Clinzo Ross drove the lane for a hoop, and forward Mason Rudolph accounted for the next four points with two free throws and power layup.
Cougars forward Deshaw Andrews sank two free throws to stop the bleeding, but Northwestern center Rontavious McClure had consecutive dunks for a 44-35 lead with 1:26 remaining.
We just were not patient enough offensively in the fourth, Dixon said. We have a young team and of course, youth will lead to putting up bad shots. Northwestern has more depth than we have and their leadership and experience showed down the stretch.
Trojans coach Mike Gossett praised his teams defensive intensity down the stretch, saying that is what made the difference in the outcome.
We stressed defense and that allowed us to run out, for key hoops, Gossett said of the surge. I though (guard) LaThomas (Long) did a good job. He has a strong body and was able to drive the lane and make good decisions with the basketball.
Long and Rudolph had 12 points each for the Trojans, who improves to 2-2 in Region 3-AAAA and 6-8 overall. Andrews and guard Daurice Simpson scored 15 and 11, respectively, for the Cougars, who fell to 5-7 and 1-3, respectively.
Northwestern Rontavious McClure 4, Mason Rudolph 12, LaThomas Long 12, Mustafa Love 6, Will Chitwood 3, Clenzo Ross 11.
York Markell Castle 3, Daurice Simpson 11, Deshaw Andrews 15, Kaiyon Schrouder 8.
3-pointers Northwestern 1 (Chitwood), York 1 (Castle). Team fouls Northwestern 12, York 11. Fouled out None.
Records: Northwestern 6-8 overall, 2-2 in Region 3-AAAA; York 5-7, 1-3.