YORK — The Lower Richland girls used solid shooting and a tenacious defense to defeat the Irmo Yellow Jackets 52-35 in the championship game of the Bank of York/Wing Bonz Christmas Tournament on Tuesday at York Comprehensive High School.
The contest was close until the Diamond Hornets pulled away late in the third quarter for the win. The victory avenged an earlier loss to Irmo and gave Lower Richland an 8-1 record. Irmo fell to 10-2 with the loss.
Breshay Johnson, who led the Diamond Hornets on both ends of the floor, was named as the tournament’s MVP.
In the consolation championship, the Palmetto Mustangs built an early lead and topped the Gaffney Indians 58-49. Palmetto beat Byrnes earlier in the day to advance to the consolation title game.
• The York Cougars got the second day of play started with a 42-34 overtime loss to the Woodmont Wildcats in the loser’s bracket.
Woodmont led 25-20 at the end of three quarters, but the Cougars rallied in the final quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime.
York went on a 7-0 run to take a 27-25 lead with 4:02 remaining in regulation. Meg McGarity started the rally with a field goal and a free throw. Makala Love added a free throw, and York had cut the lead to 25-24.
Love’s 3-pointer put York in front 27-25. Woodmont outscored York 5-2 over the next three minutes to take a 30-29 lead.
York’s Najha Feemster’s free throw with 59 seconds tied the game. Both teams missed chances to win it in regulation.
Woodmont’s Regina Fowler took over the game in the overtime session. She scored 10 of her game-high 14 points as Woodmont opened the overtime period on an 8-2 run.
Love led York with 12 points and Carrie Lee Lancaster added nine for the Cougars.
“We played much better today,” said York coach Paula Blackwell. “We still need to cut down on our turnovers.”
Blackwell was very pleased with the improved showing on defense, which was highlighted by Lancaster’s 15 rebounds.
“We switched and played some man-to-man today,” said Blackwell. “I though we did a good job with that. It actually picked us up and helped us get some transition baskets on the other end.”
• The Byrnes Rebels won the junior-varsity championship game by beating the Northwestern Trojans’ ninth grade team.
In the junior-varsity consolation championship game, Irmo defeated Lower Richland. Irmo defeated Gaffney and Northwestern’s junior-varsity team earlier in the day to make it to the final game. Lower Richland topped York and Fort Mill to reach the final contest.
In its two years of existence, the tournament has attracted some of the top high school girls teams in the region.
“Last year, Greenwood won this tournament, and we had a good field of teams,” said Blackwell. “This year’s field was very strong, and I thought we had good attendance.”