RWA Bounced from Region Play

Charged up and ready to do battle with the Spartanburg Christian Warriors for the third time this season, the Richard Winn Eagles put it all on the line in the for the first 13 minutes in round one of the region tournament last week, inching as close as two points with 3:02 left in the second period. Coach Joe Pitt’s varsity team was able to contain the #1 region leader early on before the Warriors ignited their offense with just three minutes left in the second quarter. Ultimately the Eagles ran out of steam and could neither contain the Warriors, nor could they compete in the latter stages with SCA’s fast “run and gun” tempo which resulted in a loss for the Eagles in round one of the region playoffs, 81-49.

The Warriors controlled the tip and the scoreboard for the first minute fifteen seconds as they jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before RWA’s Patrick Pope knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner to get his Eagle team in the game. The Eagles hung tight and trailed by eleven with 21.3 seconds left in the opening period when Cameron Cooper swished a three from the left corner to bring the Eagles back to within eight. However, the Warriors answered back with a quick two point basket just before the quarter ended to lead 24-14 going into the second period.

The first five minutes of the second quarter proved exciting for the Eagle team and their fans as Pitt’s guys charged out the gate to battle back, outscoring SCA to come back to within two points at the 3:02 mark. The initial surge for the Eagles began with back-to-back threes from the hot hand of Cooper. Meanwhile, the Eagle defense held the Warriors scoreless until the 6:20 point. By that time, the Eagles had closed the gap 24-20 and were on their way to making a game of it. RWA’s Logan Gibbons made good on three of four free throws on back-to-back trips to the charity stripe to bring the Eagles to within a basket of tying the game, 26-28, with 5:17 left in the first half. Then the momentum swung back in favor of the Warriors as they went on outscore the Eagles 18-5 to finish the half on top, 44-31.

Unfortunately, the Eagles weren’t able to regain their earlier momentum, and the Warriors took control of the second half of play, holding the Eagles to a five point third quarter performance while scoring 25. While the Eagles never threw in the towel and outscored their opponents 13-12 in the final period, the combined second and third quarter deficits were too great to overcome.

Senior Logan Gibbons led the Eagle tally with 18 points. Cooper was the only other Eagle to score double digits with 11. Reid Johnson added eight, Pope had six, Mitchell Gibbons contributed four and John Coleman scored two.

After the tournament wrapped up, Cameron Cooper received All-Region honors for the Eagles.

Although the Eagles closed out their hopes of advancing in the region tourney, they may still have an outside chance of making the state playoffs as an at-large team. An announcement was expected to come from the SCISA athletics office on Wednesday of this week. If the Eagles do indeed get a bid to the AA state playoffs, the first round of action will be played on Saturday, Feb. 16.

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