WINNSBORO — The Richard Winn girls’ (13-0) basketball team will compete in its second tournament in a week tonight at Newberry Academy.
The Lady Eagles recently took home the championship trophy from the Christmas Classic Tournament and will now set their sights on the Newberry Sonic Tournament.
Just a week ago, Richard Winn defeated number one ranked Fairfield Central 43-36 in the final game of the Christmas Classic at Richard Winn. The 36-point total was the lowest of the season for the Lady Griffins after averaging 61 points per game. It was Fairfield’s first loss of the season.
Richard Winn head coach Jason Haltiwanger said he was proud of his team’s effort against a top-ranked opponent.
“Fairfield is a great team and they have multiple guards that can play at a high level,” he noted.
After the game Haltiwanger said he knew his team would have to break the press, but when they did break the pressure they would have an advantage on the offensive end. The Lady Eagles prepared to face pressure in practice and according to Haltiwanger, communication was key in the victory.
“Being in position and getting the ball to the middle of the floor was huge for us against Fairfield,” he stated. “Our guards did a really good job with the ball in their hands against that pressure.”
Haltiwanger also acknowledged his team’s size advantage and credited his players for displaying fundamentals when rebounding.
“I though we did a very good job on the boards,” he said. “They (Fairfield) didn’t get many second chance points and we were able to limit them to just one shot by boxing out.”
Defensively, Haltiwanger believed his team played with intensity and was able to contest the majority of Fairfield’s shots.
“We knew we were going to give up a lot of points but we made them earn every point they got and didn’t give up any easy baskets,” he said.
Richard Winn will put its undefeated record on the line tonight (Dec. 27) when it opens up tournament play against Newberry Academy at 7:30 p.m.
Despite beating Newberry Academy 66-23 on Nov. 26, Haltiwanger stressed the importance of post defense.
“They (Newberry Academy) have a very good post player (referring to Andre Getz) and when she has the ball inside she will probably score or get fouled so we will have to limit her touches,” he noted.
Getz led Newberry Academy with 13 points in a loss to Fairfield Central on Dec. 20. Haltiwanger emphasized defensive pressure on the perimeter to deny the entry pass down low to Getz.
“We will apply pressure on their guards to make them uncomfortable so they can’t even see into the lane when trying to make the pass to Getz,” he said.
Regardless of a win or loss tonight, Richard Winn will play King Academy at 3 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 28). It will be the first match up of the season between the two teams.
King Academy like to slow the pace of the game down and play a half court game, but Richard Winn will look to play at a faster tempo and run up and down the court.
“We want to put on pressure and change the speed of the game,” Haltiwanger noted.