Spartans Fall Behind Early as Blazers Trip York in CAC Clash

FREDERICK, MD – Three Hood College Blazers reached double figures as the Blazers downed the York College men's basketball team 66-59 in a Capital Athletic Conference contest in Frederick, MD on Saturday evening. The Spartans fall to 13-7 overall and 7-4 in the CAC while the Blazers improve to 10-8 overall and 6-4 in the league.

Freshman Cameron Cook led all scorers with 19 points for Hood while York's Paul Kouvaris led the Green and White with 16 points.

The Blazers came roaring out of the gate as they outscored York 18-6 over the first 9:25 of the contest as Green and White uncharacteristically struggled to take care of the ball. York climbed back into the game courtesy of a 10-2 run as the Spartans drew to within three at 25-22 with 3:22 left in the first half. The two teams traded baskets over the next three minutes before Cook hit a three at the halftime horn to extend the Hood lead to 34-38 at the break.

The Blazers got off to another good start in the second half, scoring the first six points of the half to take a 12-point lead. The Spartans would face an uphill battle the rest of the game. York trailed by 11 with 7:34 left but the Spartans scored six straight to cut the lead to five with 7:08 remaining. The Blazers pushed their lead back to seven three more times over the next five minutes before a Kevin Whaley free throw trimmed the Hood lead to four. Cook hit his fifth three of the game with 1:50 left but Julian Watson answered Cook's triple with one of his own as the Hood lead stood at 63-59.

The Spartans fouled Brenden Straughn and the guard missed both attempts but he got his own rebound on his second miss and that proved to be huge as he was fouled again and converted both attempts for a 65-59 lead with 33 seconds left. The Spartans weren't able to convert on the offensive end after Watson's three as they lost for the second time in three games.

Cook finished the game shooting 7-for-12 from the floor including 5-for-8 from three for his 19 points. He also had five rebounds and two steals. Tyler Snoots added 13 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and a pair of blocked shots. LaVar Rich was the third Blazer in double figures with 13 points.

Kouvaris notched his 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor and a 2-for-4 performance from the line. He also had three rebounds and three steals in his 29 minutes of action. Whaley was the other Spartan in double figures as he added 11 points while he also had five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a pair of steals. Junior Andrew Pawlyk pulled in a team-high eight rebounds while he also had five points. Sophomore Mitch Kemp came off the bench in the second half and scored nine points on a trio of treys in his 10 minutes of work.

The Spartans' 59 points was their second-lowest scoring output of the season. They shot 37.3% from the floor, 28.6% (6-for-21) from three and 62.5% (15-for-24) from the stripe. Hood shot 43.6% from the field while they were 5-for-11 (45.5%) from three and 50% (13-for-26) from the free throw line.

The Spartans, who lead the CAC in assist-to-turnover ratio, committed 23 turnovers, which is their second highest total of the year. The Blazers turned the Spartans' miscues into 28 points in the game. Hood also held a 26-16 edge in points in the paint while York held a slight 39-37 edge in total rebounds.

York returns to action on Wednesday night when they welcome nationally ranked St. Mary's College to Wolf Gymnasium for a big Capital Athletic Conference contest. Tip time in York is set for 8:00 pm.

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)