WINNSBORO — The Richard Winn Academy girls’ basketball team finished their regular season with yet another blowout victory, this time over King Academy, then it was on to the SCISA conference tournament.
After a first round bye, the Eagles decimated Cambridge Academy 63-28 to earn the right to face Laurens Academy in the SCISA Region 2-A championship, and again the Eagles claimed the victory. This marked the Eagle’s third game with Laurens.
The championship game, unlike many of Richard Winn’s other contests, was a closely fought battle.
“The more you see an opponent the more they get familiar with you, and they’re getting better everyday,” Coach Jason Haltiwanger said.
He went on to add that “they have really good good guard play that challenges you as a coach to figure out how to guard three girls that can all handle the ball, and shoot the ball and attack off the dribble.”
At half the Eagles were down 19-22. This was the first time Richard Winn had trailed at half since their game against Thomas Sumpter, which was their only loss of the season.
“I don’t really focus on score. If we have more points than the opponent I don’t view that, I know this sounds crazy, as winning. I view winning as my team competing as hard as they can,” Haltiwanger said.
Richard Winn, behind the efforts of their big three — Alyssa Atkerson, Jaycie Johnson and Bailey Taylor — re-captured the lead in the third quarter. Atkerson had 15, Taylor had 13 and Johnson finished up with 10.
By the end of three, Richard Winn was leading by eight, 36-28, but Laurens would not simply falter in the fourth.
They clawed back to within three with just a minute remaining in the game, but the Eagles were too much.
Richard Winn claimed the region championship. This was the Eagle’s seventh SCISA region 2-A championship in a row.
The Eagles will now focus the playoffs, and attempt to repeat as state champions. Their first match-up will be against Mead Hall at Heathwood on Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.
Timothy Wooten is a mass communications major at Winthrop University. He is from Winnsboro.