Richard Winn boys pick up 10th region win

WINNSBORO – There was little rest for Richard Winn’s basketball players, coaches, and fans in the regular season homestretch. The Eagle teams, competing in four region contests since Feb. 2, have only one big contest remaining on Wed., Feb. 9, before region tourney contests begin. 

The Lady Eagles succumbed to three of their last four opponents, but picked up a big region home win against the visiting Cambridge Cougars on Senior Night, Feb. 4. On the other hand, RW’s varsity boys captured three wins and suffered just one loss to be neck and neck with King for the regular season region title. That title will be determined on Richard Winn’s home court on Wednesday, following the press deadline.

Abby Lewis (1) works a fast break against Cambridge. | Photos: Martha Ladd

Laurens

Richard Winn hosted the Laurens Academy Lady Crusaders on Feb. 2. While the Lady Eagles matched the visitors point for pint in the second half, the Laurens opponents were able to hang onto their 12 point first half lead to capture the road region victory, 40-28.

Mikaela Miller led the Lady Eagles scoring with 13 points. Teammates also posting points included Abby Lewis – 5, Delaney Young – 5, Brinson Baker – 2, Meagan Brigman – 2, and Emma Steed – 1.

Wardlaw

RWA got back on the court the next night after making the road trip to Johnston on Feb. 3 to rematch against a strong squad of Lady Patriots. The Lady Eagles kept the game close in the first half, trailing the Wardlaw team by only 3 points at the half, 16-19. Wardlaw increased their lead by 7 in the third quarter. That lead proved to be the difference as both teams matched up evenly with 18 points in the final quarter, leaving the visiting Winnsboro team with a 7 point deficit and another region loss, 40-47.

Young, one of the team’s four sophomores, topped the Lady Eagles’ scoring stats with 15 points. Miller followed with 12 points, all scored from the free throw line while shooting 75% at the charity stripe. Lewis – 6, Baker – 3, Steed – 2, and Brigman – 2. 

Cambridge

The Richard Winn teams returned to the home nest on Feb. 4 to rematch against the Cambridge Cougars. After a deadlocked 4-4 first quarter, the Lady Eagles outscored their opponents by 3 in the second quarter to take a 12-9 lead into the locker room at halftime.

When play resumed, the Lady Cougars successfully employed a full court press throughout the third quarter and forced the Lady Eagles to make numerous turnovers. With Miller benched with foul trouble for the entire third quarter and part of the fourth, Richard Winn was still able to stay in the mix and keep Cambridge at bay by two. The Lady Eagles went into the final period with a narrow lead, 20-18.

Both teams battled hard to the nail-biting end, and just when it seemed as if the game could swing in either team’s favor, Lewis swished a 3-point basket and made a free throw late in the game. Midway through the last quarter, Miller got back into the game and hit 4-for-4 clutch free throws in the last minute to help seal the 32-29 victory and avenge the earlier loss to Cambridge.

Newberry

On Feb. 7 Richard Winn traveled to Newberry for their second regular season matchup against the NA Eagles. The Newberry Academy girls’ squad again proved themselves the superior Eagles with a decisive 57-32 victory. Coach Emily McElveen’s Richard Winn girls played a strong 16 point third quarter, but the 19 point halftime deficit (8-27) was too great to overcome.

This time it was RWA 8th grader Abby Lewis who carried the Lady Eagles offensively. Lewis was scoreless in the first half but came on strong to nail four 3-pointers in the third period and end the game with 16 total points. Young – 7, Miller –  6, Brigman – 3.

The Lady Eagles go into the final regular season region contest against King hoping to improve on their 2-8 region record and 6-9 overall record.

Richard Winn Boys v. Laurens

Miller Stuck (11) lays one up against Cambridge. | Martha Ladd

Coach Nick Chaisson’s boys’ team countered the girls’ record over these last four games and earned three victories while going down in defeat to Laurens by one point, 34-35.

The Eagles had previously beaten the Crusaders in Laurens, but the visitors arrived at the Eagles Nest more determined and with a better game plan. Lawson Wade, averaging just over 15 points per game, was held in check to 5 total points. Teammate Landon Caulder stepped up his game to lead the Eagles in rebounds and steals and tied Miller Stuck as the Eagle’s leading scorers with 9 each. Jacob Chaisson – 8, Drew Spires – 3, and Rob Wilson lead the assist category with 4.The team had 5 players to record blocked shots – Wade, Wilson, Caulder, Stuck, and Ethan Steward. 

Wardlaw

The Eagles bounced back big the next day as they faced the Wardlaw Patriots in Johnston. Still feeling the bitter sting of the night before’s narrow loss, the Eagles jumped out ahead to lead 21-6 in the first quarter and then added 31 more points in the second to lead 52-11 at the half. Ten Eagle players posted points in the scorebook as the team cruised to a lopsided 70-29 victory.

Wade lit up the scoreboard with 22 points and collected 5 rebounds and had 2 blocks. Spires followed Wade with 9 points. Stuck and Wilson tied with 4 assists and joined Kitt Nicholson and Ethan Steward to record 6 points each. Caulder and Travis Bonds tallied 5 apiece, and Chaisson and Charlie Bonds added 3 and 2 points respectively.

Cambridge

The Eagles got back-to-back night victories; the next one was played at home against Cambridge, 57-33. Prior to the varsity boys’ game, lone Lady Eagle senior Mikaela Miller and solo Eagle senior Edward Clement were recognized during a Senior Night ceremony. The two players were escorted onto the court by their parents.

Eagle fans were treated to two particular crowd-igniting events during the Senior Night contest. The first occurred when Wade slam dunked in the first half, and then, with seconds left on the clock in the final period, Clement nailed a 3-pointer from the far right corner. Both baskets brought the crowd to their feet cheering.

Stuck had the hot hand for the Eagles with 19 points and led the steals (3) and blocks (1) stats. Wade recorded 15 points and team high 12 rebounds. Spires had 5 assists and 6 points. Caulder – 10, Clement – 5, and Chaisson – 2.

Newberry

The road trip to Newberry on Monday brought more good results for Chaisson’s Eagle team with a 41-21 victory. This time Caulder led the scoring with 13 points and rebounds with 6. Wade followed with 12 points and 5 blocks. Spires added 9 points and led with 4 assists. Stuck – 4, Steward – 2, and Chaisson -1. Wilson had 4 steals.

The three game win streak boosts the Eagles’ region record to 10-2 and overall to 16-5. Wednesday night’s results against King will determine who will be seeded #1 going into the region tournament this weekend. The Eagles only two region losses to King and Laurens were by narrow 1 point margins.

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