The York Comprehensive High School girls’ basketball team came roaring from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Chester 53-50 in a Friday thriller at home.
With the Lady Cougars trailing 48-47, Meg McGarity drew a foul off a steal and converted two clutch free throws, giving York its first lead since the midway point of the first quarter.
McGarity had previously canned a three-pointer, slicing the Chester lead to three points. The sophomore point guard said she has confidence from the free throw line and from long-range.
“Carrie Lee (Lancaster) kicks it out to me and gives me the opportunity to score,” McGarity said after the game. “It felt great.”
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Lancaster, the Region 3-AAAA Preseason Player of the Year, was true on a pair of free throws after McGarity’s timely 3-pointer.
The senior YCHS post player also converted two from the charity stripe after McGarity had given York the lead.
Sophomore playmaking guard Makala Love closed out the scoring for the YCHS girls with a pair of free throws that made it a two-possession game.
Lancaster, a varsity contributor since the eighth grade, was visibly emotional after the big win.
“Amazing!” Lancaster said of the comeback. “I trust Meg and know I can kick it out to her. She’s a great shooter.”
Added Lancaster, “That’s the hardest we’ve played in a long time. Not that we don’t play hard in games. This was special.”
Head coach Paula Blackwell was all smiles after the gritty, come-from-behind effort.
“We knew we wanted to go to Carrie Lee in the fourth quarter,” said the YCHS coach. “She scored eight of her 13 points in the final quarter and kicked it out to Meg.”
“Makala played a great game and Emalee Smith played well the whole game,” she said. “Emily Mitchell was calm out there.”
Said Blackwell: “It’s been a long time since our varsity and JV teams won on the same night.”
With Lancaster in foul trouble for much of the game, the Lady Cougars faced an uphill battle, trailing by 11 points, at 36-25, in the third quarter before mounting the furious fourth-quarter rally.
Lancaster paced the scoring with 13 points. McGarity was next with 10 points and Love had nine.
In an earlier game last week, the Lady Cougars defeated Spartanburg Christian Academy 58-39.
Love had a solid floor game and scored 19 points to pace the scoring.
“When we play as a team, we can make things happen,” Love said. “We had good experience running the clock down in the final minutes. My teammates helped me by setting screens.”
Spartanburg Christian kept things close in the early stages of the game and carried a 12-11 lead into the second quarter.
But the Lady Cougars were equal to the challenge. With Lancaster and Akeisha McClure leading the way, the YCHS girls led 35-23 at halftime and expanded the lead in the third quarter.
“It was a good win and a good confidence-builder for us,” said Blackwell. “A lot of kids got to play and eight of 11 scored.
She added: “We had great defensive intensity. It was a fun night, something we can build on.”