Make no mistake about it: Tuesday night belonged to York guard and team captain Jerry Holmes.
In an 88-85 win over the Rock Hill Bearcats that saw defense go out the window from the opening buzzer, Holmes scored 38 points on 13 of 21 shooting. But he wasn't the only player on the court to have a jaw-dropping stat line.
Fast break points were the story of a breathless first period, where it became apparent early on that fans would be treated to an offensive showcase. Holmes, along with teammates Brandon Hagins and Zach Sharp, scored all 18 of their team's first period points. The deeper Bearcats squad opted for a more multi-tiered attacked, in which five of their starters scored a basket.
All told, nine of their players scored a basket in the game.
But despite hanging with a Cougar offense that wouldn't seem to cool off, the Bearcats simply had no answer for Holmes.
Scoring 15 points in the first half, Holmes also frequently drew an ineffective Bearcat double team, which left York small forward Zach Sharp with numerous open looks which he capitalized upon. The 6-5 senior scored 16 high percentage points for the game.
But Rock Hill had a prolific scorer of their own who nearly went step for step with Holmes in the 2nd half of the game. He was 5-10 point guard Savion Thoms, who ignited in the 3rd period and finished the game with 27 points. He opened the 3rd period with an acrobatic three point play, and the game quickly spiraled into a duel between Thoms and Holmes.
Halftime did little to slow Holmes momentum, but at 2:39 in the 3rd period, he exited the game and would not appear until the start of the 4th.
This questionable decision allowed the Bearcats to battle back from a deficit of 14 points to move within five heading into the 4th period.
But Holmes would finish as strong as he started. For most of the game, Holmes piled on the points through accurate shooting and by fearlessly attacking the basket.
But in the 4th period, he continued his dominance at the free throw line, as the Bearcats had no choice but to send him there or risk allowing a game-killing play.
Yet, Holmes managed to sink seven free throws in the waning minutes of the game as the Bearcat fouls and frustration began to mount. But Rock Hill wasn't to be outdone, as a key 14 point performance off of the bench from 6-4 swingman Jamel Jones nearly helped Rock Hill accomplish the unthinkable.
But the Cougars' Holmes and Tony Thomasson, who had six in the 4th period, kept the offense from turning stagnant at the most crucial part of the game.
Because of Holmes' incredible performance, the Cougars move to 8-4 on the season as the team begins to move ever closer to all-important regional play.
ROCK HILL 85
Rock Hill -- Savion Thoms 27 Jamel Jones 14 Trey McCullough 14 Eric Robinson 10 Tre' McCullough 6 William Killian 6 Roderick Howell 4 D.J. Hemphill 2 Charles Johnson 2
York -- Jerry Holmes 38 Brandon Hagins 16 Zach Sharp 16 Tony Thomasson 10 Reggie McClain 4 Jonathan Spratley 2 Azivelle Smith 2
3-pointers: Rock Hill: 1 (Jones); York: 3 (Holmes 3). Total Fouls: Rock Hill 13 York 18. Ejections: None
Record: Rock Hill 5-5; York 8-4