Eagles Blast Hawks, Fall to SDS in OT

RWA senior Patrick Pope goes up strong under the basket to score two of his 33 total points against the Griffins of Spartanburg Day School. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn varsity Eagles basketball team got a much needed region win last week to put a halt to their losing skid of recent games. The 66-35 victory came on the road in Greenwood against the Greenwood Christian Hawks on Jan. 21. On Jan. 24 the Eagles hosted the Griffins of Spartanburg Day in an important region game that went into overtime. Unfortunately, however, this victory slipped away from the Eagles, 60-56, in the final minute of the overtime period.

Patrick Pope, a senior, posted 24 points in the Greenwood Christian contest, and teammate Cameron Cooper added 17 points to tally the top individual scoring honors for the Eagles. Cooper had a hot hand in the first quarter, knocking down five 3-pointers before the Hawks put a halt to his hot streak. Eagle teammates Joseph Goldin scored 8, Mitchell Gibbons added 5, Mason Gibbons and John Coleman added four points each, and Blake Pauley and Jason Branham added two points apiece.

With a win under their belts, head coach Joe Pitt’s Eagles looked to avenge an earlier road loss to Spartanburg Day when the Griffins came to visit the Eagle Nest last Friday. The teams were evenly matched throughout the contest, with the Eagles leading by a narrow margin throughout the first three quarters. However, the Griffins outscored the Eagles in the final period, 19-16, to tie the game at 51 all and send it into overtime. Both teams struggled to score a basket from the field in the four minute overtime period with RWA scoring only one 2-point basket, and SDS knocked down a single 3-pointer. The difference came at the free throw line where the Griffins converted six of their 10 free throw attempts in that period to steal the win from the home team Eagles.

Pope had his top scoring performance of the season in tallying 33 total points, scoring in each of the four periods and overtime. Cooper had 10 points on the night, and Mason Gibbons contributed 5, Goldin added 4, Gunnar Hensley had 2, and Branham and Mitchell Gibbons each scored a free throw.

The Eagle teams have three region games remaining before the regular season comes to a close on Feb. 7. The final two games will be played in Winnsboro on Tuesday, Feb. 4, against Oakbrook Prep, the defending 2A SCISA State Champions, and Friday, Feb. 7, against Greenwood Christian. Seniors Pope, Branham, Goldin and Mason Gibbons and their parents will be recognized during the Senior Night ceremony prior to the Feb. 7 tip off. The region game against Spartanburg Christian will be rescheduled due to the winter weather on Tuesday, Jan. 28. That make-up date is unknown at this time.