Eagles Open Basketball Season with Wins

RWA teammates Anna Cooke (10) and Jaycie Johnson (15) set up the trap against Lewisville.

Both Richard Winn varsity basketball teams opened the 2012-2013 season with victories Nov. 15, at the Eagles’ home nest. While the Lady Eagles hosted Lewisville High School and dominated the game all four quarters to open their new campaign with a 60-15 win, the boys’ match up against Whitmire High School proved to be a little tighter, winning 44-36.

Coach Jason Haltiwanger’s girls’ team, playing their first game since dropping the SCISA 2A State Championship title last March, proved they were polished and ready to play, even after losing their dominant player and all-time scoring leader, Alex Maass, to graduation.  With no seniors on the squad and coming off a 27-1 season, the Lady Eagles look to continue their winning ways in the new season.  Junior starters Carson Justice and Anna Cooke return as the most seasoned leaders and are joined by sophomores Emily Brigman, Jessie Stidham and Cassidy Branham along with freshman Jaycie Johnson as the team’s veterans.  Moving up from Haltiwanger’s equally successful middle school team are freshmen Marion Walker Coleman and Megan Simpson and eighth graders Alyssa Atkerson and Bailey Taylor.

Using their speed, a full court press and balanced scoring, the Lady Eagles determined the outcome from the opening period behind the hot hand of Johnson’s eight first quarter points. The Lady Eagles never let up and led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter and went on to increase their lead, 27-6, at the half. Six different RWA players contributed baskets in their 23-point fourth quarter.

The Lady Eagles had three players to score in double figures. Justice led all scorers with 13 points followed by Brigman with 12 and Johnson with 11. Stidham contributed 9, Atkerson had 7, Taylor added 5 and Cooke rounded out the 60-point total with 3. Lewisville was led by Rikoya Anderson with 10 points.

The boys opened their game with junior Patrick Pope knocking down one of his three 3-pointers in the first quarter. While Whitmire pulled to within three points at half time, 21-18, the Eagles never trailed in the game.

Coach Joe Pitt returns six veterans from his last season after losing four to the 2012 graduation. Seniors Logan Gibbons and Reid Johnson are back as the veterans and are joined by classmate Corey Davis coming back from taking a season off. Jason Branham, Patrick Pope, Mason Gibbons and Joseph Goldin round out the returning junior players. Coming up from last season’s middle school squad are freshmen John Coleman, Gunnar Hensley, Rob O’Connor and eighth grader Mitchell Gibbons. Sophomore transfer Cameron Cooper finishes out Pitt’s 12-member varsity team.

The Eagles’ scoring leaders were Logan Gibbons with 13 and Johnson with 11. Pope added 9 while Mason Gibbons had 4.  Coleman, Goldin and Cooper knocked down a basket apiece, and Branham contributed a free-throw point. Whitmire was led by John Burnside’s 11 points.

Richard Winn’s Eagle basketball teams, middle school and varsity, travel to Newberry Academy on Tuesday to begin SCISA non-conference competition. The MS girls’ game tips off at 4 P.M.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]