From the beginning of the season, the Rock Hill Bearcat's length and perimeter shooting have created matchup nightmares for opposing teams.
The trend continued in dominating fashion Friday night, as the Bearcats (4-0) notched arguably their most impressive victory of the season against the York Cougars with a 73-46 rout.
"We judge ourselves on what we do in our practices and our teamwork," said Rock Hill coach Eric Rollings. "We didn't practice well this week and it showed in the first half, but our team chemistry shined in the second and I hope it will continue to build throughout the season."
The streaky shooting that has defined Rock Hill's early season success was on full display at the start of the first quarter. The Bearcats started 7-of-10 from the field to begin the game, including nine first quarter points for 6'5" junior shooting guard Jamel Jones. The last basket of the quarter for Jones, who led all scorers with 19 points, was headlined by a thunderous alley-oop on a pass from teammate Eduardo Minuci.
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Though he remained quiet in the first half, forward Jaylen Reid helped Rock Hill dominate the glass on both ends of the court, grabbing five of his six first half rebounds in the first quarter.
But the Cougars kept the game honest for the first two quarters, as senior frontcourt bruiser Reggie McClain showcased his inside game and smooth jumper to prevent the Bearcats from going up big. Rock Hill also cooled down in the second quarter, as sloppy passing and turnovers prevented them from scoring a basket until the five minute mark. The score favored Rock Hill by just five points heading into halftime.
Yet the explosive Rock Hill offense could only remain stagnant for so long, and a 28-point third quarter from the Bearcats was all that was needed to blow past the Cougars. Reid finally regained his scoring touch with seven third quarter points and added four more rebounds, while the Bearcats netted five 3-pointers in the quarter as well.
And as hot as the Bearcats were in the third quarter, the Cougars were just as cold, calling a timeout at 3:21 after Rock Hill amassed a 21-point lead. As the buzzer sounded, Rock Hill had outscored York 28-8 in the quarter alone.
Rock Hill's lead swelled to over 30 points in the fourth quarter as a snake-bitten York squad continued its downward slide, but the game was far out of reach by this point.
Rock Hill 73, York 46
Rock Hill -- Jamel Jones 19 Eduardo Minuci 13 Malik Crawford 11 Jaylen Reid 9 Warren Vinson 6 Eric Robinson 6 Deonte Flemming 5 Barry McManus 2 Roderick Howell 2 York -- Reggie McClain 14 Deshaw Andrews 11 Luke Lancaster 6 Daurice Simpson 5 Lamin Yanseneh 5 Ty Currence 4 Kaiyon Schrouder 2
3-pointers --Rock Hill 11 (Minuci 3 Crawford 3 Jones 2 Vinson 3 Reid 1), York 2 (Simpson, Yanseneh) Team fouls -- Rock Hill 10, York 10. Fouled out -- None. Records: York 2-2; Rock Hill 4-0