RWA Eagles, Lady Eagles split at holiday shootout

Anna Grey Walters Special to The Herald Independent

January 1, 2014

Anna Grey Walters

Special to The Herald Independent

NEWBERRY — Richard Winn Academy found itself on the losing side of the tournament bracket when it traveled to Newberry to take part in the Newberry Academy Sonic Holiday Shootout last weekend, bring home two losses and two wins during play.

The boys took to the court Friday against Newberry Academy in a rematch from earlier this year and were looking to punch a win for the first time this season. But the Eagles fell short 64-47, led by Patrick Pope’s 20 points, 9 from Joseph Goldin and 8 from Cameron Cooper.

With the win, Newberry Academy advanced to the championship, which they later won by defeating Greenwood Christian.

The Lady Eagles were luckier out of the gate for their match against Newberry Academy, lighting up the boards with 51 points in the 51-13 blowout.

The Lady Eagles combined hot shooting with stingy defense, holding Newberry to just 13 points. The win advanced them to the championship game on Saturday.

Jessie Stidham led the Lady Eagles with 11 points. Carson Justice, Jaycie Johnson and Alyssa Atkerson each reached double digits with 10. Emily Brigman and Calee Thigpen contributed eight and Anna Cooke added two.

On Saturday, both RWA teams played the Knights from W.W. King Academy in Batesburg-Leesville, the boys hitting the hardwood first. The game was intense, coming down to a last-second shot in favor of the Knights, 40-39.

The Eagles had four shots from point blank range but could not hit any of them before the buzzer sounded.

The Eagles only hit four of 12 from the charity stripe. Pope had 12 points for RWA, followed by Cooper with nine, and Mason Gibbons with eight.

In the final game of the day, the Lady Eagles faced the Lady Knights. The girls were a bit rusty with more turnovers and missed layups than is typical of a Jason Haltiwanger coached squad.

Carson Justice got in early foul trouble and sat most of the second quarter. To adjust, the Eagles went into the low post a lot and also had some success off out of bounds plays drawn up for Jaycie Johnson and Jessie Stidham.

The Lady Eagles kept up its intensity in the second half and took advantage of missed free throws by W.W. King to emerge victorious, 47-23.

Leading scorers were Justice and Johnson with 12 points each. Atkerson added eight, and Stidham and Bailey Taylor each had six.

The Eagles and the Lady Eagles are on the road Friday at Thomas Sumter Academy. Tip-off is 6 p.m. tip off for the varsity girls and the boys game to follow.