YORK — The Irmo and Lower Richland girls both won a pair of games on the opening day of play in the Bank of York/Wing Bonz Christmas Tournament on Monday at York Comprehensive High School.
The two traditional powers will headline the second day of action Tuesday when they collide in the championship game at 2:45 p.m.
Irmo topped Woodmont and Byrnes to make it to the finals, while Lower Richland beat J. L. Mann and Palmetto.
Byrnes opened the two-day tournament with a 56-30 win over the York Cougars.
Byrnes led 12-9 after one period and stretched to a 24-18 margin at intermission. Byrnes turned it on in the second half, outscoring York 32-12.
Bri James led Byrnes with nine points. Sydney Dempsey and Bre Hines added seven points each. York was led by Carrie Lee Lancaster with nine. Makala Love added seven points for the Cougars.
“We are a very young team, but I can see lots of improvement,” said York coach Paula Blackwell. “We are working on being more aggressive and cutting down on our turnovers.”
The Cougars had four freshmen on the floor at one time for much of the game. They struggled at times, but Blackwell said she can see the progress.
“We are getting much more competitive,” Blackwell said. “Our fundamentals are improving, and we are learning to play together.”
“Now we can start to work on game situations,” she said. “We can focus more on what we are capable of doing, and what we cannot do.”
York opens play in the varsity division Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. when they take on Woodmont in a loser’s bracket game. That contest will be followed by J. L. Mann against Gaffney at 9:30. Those two winners will take on Byrnes and Palmetto in the next round in the loser’s bracket.
The consolation championship is set for 2:45 p.m. in the auxiliary gym.
In the junior varsity division, Byrnes and the Northwestern ninth-grade team both won two games to move to Tuesday’s finals at 1:30 p.m. Northwestern beat York and Fort Mill, while Byrnes topped Irmo and Northwestern’s JV team.
The first game in the JV division is set for Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. when York takes on Lower Richland. Irmo and Gaffney follow that game at 9:30 a.m. The winners of those two games will take on Fort Mill and Northwestern in the next round in the loser’s bracket.
The consolation championship in the JV division is set for 12:30 p.m.