WINNSBORO — The Richard Winn Academy Lady Eagles went into their game with Chesnee after coming off their first home loss in over five years, at the hands of Thomas Sumter.
“They had a good game-plan. They had been preparing for us for a while. What they did was they put a real physical girl fronting Jaycie the whole time, and another girl behind her. It worked real well,” Coach Jason Haltiwanger said.
The 39-52 loss to the Generals was a shock, and according to Haltiwanger, it was also a wake-up call.
“I’m hoping if nothing else it can be a wake up that we can’t just show up and win games. We got a target on our backs, everybody wants to beat us so we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” he said. “So if we take a night off effort wise that can be the results.”
Richard Winn busted out of the gate, securing a 29-13 lead in the half, but Chesnee was far from done yet.
They proceeded to go on a nine-point run, and for a stretch they outscored Richard Winn 15-5. By the end of the third quarter the deficit was down to three.
Both teams traded a free throw to begin the fourth quarter. Then both teams traded a bucket, and the Richard Winn lead remained at three.
Jaycie Johnson hit a big shot, was fouled, and converted the three-point opportunity to give the Eagle’s some breathing room. Johnson is having a monster season with over 22 points and five rebounds a contest.
Chesnee knocked the lead back down to four, but missed two free throws that would have trimmed it to one possession.
An athletic assist from Johnson to Bailey Taylor put Richard Winn out in front by seven, with just over two minutes left. The game looked to be in hand but Chesnee knocked down a three-pointer to claw back within four.
There was too much Richard Winn late. Chesnee missed three of its last four free throws, and Richard Winn sunk their last four for the 54-48 victory.
Richard Winn, also dominated Ware Shoals 62-20 in the first of a two game road trip. The second part of that road trip will be a game against Calhoun on Dec. 18.
The Lady Eagles will not be back at home until Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 for the Christmas tournament.
Timothy Wooten is a mass communications major at Winthrop University. He is from Winnsboro.