RWA’s Boys Seek Consistency

Senior Logan Gibbons flies to the basket against Laurens.

The Richard Winn Eagles, coming off a narrow two-point road victory, 35-33, over Calhoun Academy on Nov. 30, settled back in at their home nest for the next week with two games against Laurens Academy and Thomas Sumter Academy. Back in the lineup after missing the previous two games due to North All Star football participation were seniors Logan Gibbons, Reid Johnson and Corey Davis.

According to head coach Joe Pitt, “The boys have worked really hard to improve their individual skills and are meshing together as a team. Pat Pope and Cameron Cooper have developed as scorers and JB (Jason Branham) is leading the team in assists. Joseph Goldin and John Coleman are developing into good post players. Senior players Reid Johnson, Logan Gibbons and Corey Davis are adding good leadership.”

On Dec. 4, the Eagles faced the Crusaders of Laurens Academy and were forced to surrender a 68-49 loss. The Crusaders jumped out to an early 22-10 first quarter lead and outscored the Eagles in three of the four quarters of action. Not going down without a fight, the Eagle players came on strong in the final period to outscore their opponents 18-13, but it proved too little and too late. Three of the Eagle starters managed double digit scoring, led by junior Patrick Pope with 14, sophomore Cameron Cooper with 13, and senior Logan Gibbons with 10. Teammates Reid Johnson added six points, Jason Branham knocked down three free throws while Joseph Goldin had a 2-point basket, and Mason Gibbons hit a free throw. Laurens player Billy Rockefeller led all scorers with 21 points. Teammate Matthew Urwick added 18 and Chase Brewington scored 17.

Bouncing back from the Laurens loss, the Eagles mounted a thrilling come-from-behind campaign in the final quarter to capture a 46-44 victory from the Thomas Sumter Generals in front of the excited RWA home crowd on Dec. 7. The Generals led throughout three quarters of the game and held an 11-point lead, 33-22, going into the final period. However, coach Pitt lit a fire under his players and ignited his team to push hard to get the win. The Eagles were led by Cooper’s 17-point game, which included five 3-pointers, three of them coming in the fourth quarter. Pope contributed 10 points, Goldin added six, and Branham had four. Closing out the remaining point total were Coleman with three, Johnson and Mason Gibbons with two each, and Mitchell Gibbons and Gunnar Hensley with one point each. The Generals were led by Tanner Brunson with 14 points.

Having already succumbed to the Westminster Catawba Indians earlier in the season, the Eagles made the trip to Rock Hill Monday in hopes of evening the record with them. Unfortunately the Indian team had other plans, scalping the visiting Eagles 77-38. Pope was the only Eagle player to score double digits – 13 points. Johnson was RWA’s second highest scorer with seven. Other Eagle players to post points on the scoreboard included Logan Gibbons and Coleman with four points apiece, Cooper and Mitchell Gibbons with three each, and Goldin and Mason Gibbons had two point baskets.

The Eagles overall record dropped to 3-5. The RWA teams hosted Calhoun on Tuesday and will face Newberry once again tonight prior to final exams that begin on Monday. After exams and the holidays, the Eagle varsity teams will remain active during the Christmas break while taking part in two holiday tournaments, hosting one on Dec. 21 and 22 and taking part in another on Dec. 28 and 29 at Newberry Academy.

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