YORK -- The York Comprehensive High School Lady Cougars relish the team's return to the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach.
The action begins Friday in the much-heralded holiday classic, concluding Tuesday in time to spend Christmas Eve at home.
Head coach Paula Blackwell said she wants the team to win but will back off a little and let the players have fun.
"I want it to be a vacation for them," she said.
Taking in the Grand Strand attractions and shopping are among the scheduled activities. There also will be a cooking contest at the hotel quarters.
"A lot of bonding takes place on a trip like this," Blackwell said.
Beach Ball Classic organizers pay for the team's beach front hotel stay.
"They also help with fuel costs," noted Blackwell.
The YCHS girls play at Lancaster Thursday night before departing for Myrtle Beach.
In Friday's action, the Lady Cougars were defeated 76-58 by Chester, a team they had beaten previously.
The visiting YCHS team sliced a double-digit deficit to four points in the second half, but the Lady Cyclones pulled away in the fourth quarter behind leading scorer Micah Wessinger, who scored 32 points.
Ashley Barron and Tikierra Anderson paced the scoring for York with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
"We need to learn how to play away from home and to play with a higher level of intensity," Blackwell said.
The Lady Cougars were clicking on all cylinders in defeating South Pointe 55-37 on the road.
"Our bench players did a great job for us against South Pointe," Blackwell said. "Ashanti Wilson and Aria Crawford played well. Guards Gina Patton and Hikeya Davis pushed the tempo."
Anderson said ball movement led to the win.
"We passed the ball around," she said. "It's something we work on at practice."
The YCHS boys team will shift its focus to the Farm Bureau Classic in Chesterfield following a Thursday night game at Lancaster.
The holiday event will be held Dec. 29-31.
Head coach Kendall McCarter said the Cougars will be making their third appearance in the Farm Bureau Classic.
"It's good for the players to get away from town a couple days," noted McCarter.
"Staying in a motel is good team bonding," he added. "The players get to know each other better on and off the court."
Said McCarter, "We're working hard to improve each game. Our sophomores are playing well."
The sophomore trio of Brandon Hagins, Jerry Holmes and Zach Sharp were more than Chester could handle as the visiting Cougars defeated the Cyclones 81-57 Friday night.
Hagins poured in 29 points, Holmes scored 21 and Sharp 13 to lead the scoring.
"It was a good road win," McCarter said. "Chester is a real scrappy group. We capitalized on their mistakes."
The Cougars fell to South Pointe 68-40 earlier in the week.
Holmes led the scoring with 14 points.
The Stallions are coached by York native Dwayne Hartsoe.