Eagles cruise over Oakbrook Academy

By Kevin Boozer kboozer@civitasmedia.com

January 21, 2014

SPARTANBURG — The RWA Lady Eagles ran their record to 20-1 Friday night with a 67-25 win over the Knights of Oakbrook Academy.

Jaycie Johnson led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points. Jessie Stidham also did a lot of damage from the high post, netting 14 points. Point guard Alyssa Atkerson also made it into double figures with 11.

Other Eagles finding the nets and scoring included Carson Justice with 7 points, Emily Brigman with 7, Anna Cooke with 4, Callee Thigpen with four and Cassidy Branham with two points.

RWA soared to a 19-2 lead that never was seriously challenged. Coach Jason Haltiwanger said his team did a lot of good things with a lot of girls scoring for the Eagles.

“Oakbrook played zone defense so that left the high post in the middle of the floor wide open,” he said. “We pretty much ran the same play to that area all night long.”

Haltiwanger said the score masked the fact that his team still faces some internal challenges as the girls get ready for their second run through conference play.

“Before long it will be tournament time. Our depth is OK now but it will come down to how our girls handle success and our leadership,” he said. “Can we gel and not have division and work as one unit? If we do that, we will be tough to beat. If not, someone will come along in the playoffs and knock us out.”

Haltiwanger said talent is not a question in his mind for the defending SCISA AA state champions. They returned most of their roster from last season and added a few eighth-graders for depth. Right now the team is pretty healthy, too.

The Eagles return to action on the road against Greenwood on Tuesday and play at home versus Spartanburg Day on Friday with tip off at 6 p.m.