YORK -- O.B. Love carried his York Cougars throughout the first half. No matter what Northwestern threw at him, Love kept hitting shots. With Love shooting like a man possessed, the Cougars took a one-point lead into halftime, but as Love cooled off, his Cougars followed suit as Northwestern picked up its third win of Region 3-AAAA play with a 64-51 win.
Northwestern had a different approach to the game, using multiple weapons and outstanding hustle plays to pull away from the York in the second half.
Love ended the game with 27 points, 18 coming in the opening half. He accounted for more than half of the Cougars' points.
On the other side of the coin, the Trojans had five players who scored eight or more points, led by Taylor Shugart and Labris Adams, who finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
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The first two quarters were hard-fought, and neither team could grasp control. Through 16 minutes, the lead changed hands 11 times, including twice in the final five seconds of the second quarter.
Love completed both ends of a one-and-one with 2.6 seconds left in the half, giving the Cougars one more point than Northwestern heading into the locker room as it looked as though the game could go down to the wire.
Though Mike Gossett claimed his Trojans did not change their game plan much at the break, Love's lack of production in the second half ultimately led to the Northwestern win.
Love's only basket of the third period gave the Cougars their final lead of the game. Trailing 35-34, the Trojans Will King hit a 3-pointer that spurred a 14-2 Trojan run as Northwestern never looked back.
After King's 3-point bucket, it seemed like Northwestern came up with all of the loose balls as the Trojans played classic Gossett basketball, diving out of bounds and playing tough-nosed defense.
York 10 18 9 14 -- 51
Northwestern 8 19 19 18 -- 64
• LANCASTER 59, ROCK HILL 48 -- In Lancaster, the Bruins broke the ice in Region 3-AAAA action by recording their first victory in league play with a home win over Rock Hill.
The Bruins led from start to finish by maintaining an 11-to-14 point margin throughout, while surviving a late Bearcat rally down the stretch.
Guards Shurdell Wright and Taniel Massey scored 18 and 13, respectively, to pace Lancaster, who improves to 6-4 overall and 1-3 in the region. Massey, who netted eight points down the stretch, also provided the turning point in the contest with a huge defensive play late in the fourth quarter.
Rock Hill trailed by 14, 44-30, with 6:21 remaining, but pulled to within seven on a Jatavius Stewart inside basket, Terrelle Williams' 3-point jumper, and a Breon Love steal and layup.
Down 44-37 with 4:55 remaining, the Bearcats regained possession with a steal and had three chances to pull closer, but missed on all attempts. However, a pass toward midcourt was intercepted by Massey, who then drove the length of the court for a layup while being fouled in the process.
Massey sank the free throw to not only put the Bruins back up by 10, 47-37, with 4:22 remaining, but also end the Rock Hill momentum. From that point, Lancaster was able to spread the court and convert from the charity stripe for the eventual 11-point victory.
Rock Hill 5 11 10 22 -- 48
Lancaster 14 12 11 22 -- 59
Chester 15 15 19 22 -- 71
A.C. Flora 9 12 15 25 -- 61
Columbia 14 8 20 8 -- 50
Great Falls 21 18 18 21 -- 78