Winterboro scored early and never relinquished their lead. After a defensive first period that ended with an 11-6 lead in Winterboro’s favor, the Bulldogs continued to press ASD hard for the length of the game.
“Our players hustled,” said Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith. “Jalen Whetstone was one of my best players tonight. He was there on offense and defense. He was very assertive tonight.”
Whetstone was credited with 12 points on offense, six steals and six rebounds. Also high in the books were Nick Leonard with 13 points—nine of which came from 3-pointers—and Cardri Duncan, a sophomore who chipped in 12 points of his own. Curtavius Gray dominated the defensive books with 14 rebounds.
Though Winterboro never lost its lead to ASD, the game was still a hard-fought marathon.
After a run of seven points by Winterboro, the game locked into a steadier pace, with both teams trading baskets almost evenly for six minutes.
ASD’s Lorenzo Burrow wore at the Winterboro defense early on with two easy layups near the start of the second, and eighth-grader Anthony Scott put up two unorthodox field goals and three free throws for a total of seven points.
However, the Bulldogs’ consistent offense, padded with several 3-pointers, continued to widen the deficit. Another seven-point run late in the quarter ended the half with Winterboro up 35-20.
After the half, ASD routinely struggled to make goals on the open court.
The Silent Warriors rallied several times, capitalizing on two fouls and closing the gap to single digits, but for every basket scored, Winterboro struck twice.
Three minutes into the final quarter, the Bulldogs went on yet another seven-point run. ASD only scored once more in the game with 56 seconds to play.
A last-second field goal by Winterboro’s Cedarius Burroughs cinched the game with a final score of 73-50.
Senior Demetric Snider lead the Silent Warriors on both offense and defense with nine points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists. Burrow ended the game with eight points and seven rebounds. Kenneth Talley claimed eight points and four steals.
Winterboro will now look forward to playing at home for the Area 7 championship. “I expect a sold-out crowd,” Smith said excitedly. “We play TCC, who is our biggest rival. There’s no better way for these kids to end this tournament than a good-natured rivalry.”
The championship game will begin Monday at 7 p.m. at Winterboro High School.
The winner of the Area tournament will advance to the Sub-Regional playoffs starting Feb. 14.