Lady Eagles top TruVista Tournament

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Lady Eagles tipped off the first game of the TruVista Christmas Tournament in dominant fashion against South Aiken, and that momentum carried over to day two. Richard Winn’s defense crippled the Holly Hill Raiders early, and they cruised to a 51-30 win, their second 20-plus point win in a row.

“I’m pleased with a win, it wasn’t very good,” Eagles’ head coach Millie Lambert said. “But it was a win. And a win is always good, especially for a tournament, especially for their confidence but we played sloppy. We have a lot of things to correct.”

Kimmy Albert (3) out hustles the Holly Hill defender to maintain position. | DeAnna Robinson

Lydia Wilder exploded for nine of her 11 points in the first quarter and was the catalyst for a 13-0 game opening Richard Winn run. Holly Hill did not score their first bucket until the 3:21 mark, and that was their sole score of the quarter.

Calee Thigpen had the hot hand for the Eagles in the second quarter and used it to perfection. Thigpen burned the Raiders for nine consecutive points to close out an excellent RWA second.

“It’s always fun when they’re making it, but you have these times when they struggle, and you hate it for them,” Lambert said. “But when they finally get in their groove, it’s pleasant to watch, because they light it up.”

Thigpen finished with a game-leading 16 points. Wilder and Holly Hill’s Santana Shell both had 11 points.

After the commanding second quarter, the Eagles controlled a 28-7 lead at halftime. The Eagles gave up their first double digit scoring quarter of the tournament when the Raiders posted 11 points.

Shell had five points for the Raiders in the third, and Laura Singletary had four, but, despite their best efforts, Holly Hill made little headway on the lead. Shell had six more points in the fourth, but again, Richard Winn snuffed out even the tiniest of Holly Hill runs.

Kaitlyn Thoma had five points for RWA in the fourth to finish off Holly Hill. She was one of six different Eagles to sink a shot in the final period.

“We get to see different competition. These are teams that we potentially see in the long run in the playoffs,” Lambert said when asked the importance of tournament play. “So it’s good to see them see now to kind of know what we can prepare for.”

The Lady Eagles are back in action for conference games Jan. 3 at Cambridge Academy and host King Academy on Jan. 5.

RWA – 17-11-8-15 – 51

HH– 2-5-11-12 – 30
RWA: Calee Thigpen -16, Lydia Wilder -11, Kimmy Albert -6, Taylor Spires -6, Kaitlyn Thoma -5, Meredith Pope -4, Cassie McKeown -2, Emma Castles -1.

HH: Tara Bilton -11, Laura Singletary -8, Sarah Becker -6, Maelee Troutman -3, Cara Fennessy -2.