My, what a difference 72 hours or so made when it came to the basketball performance turned in by Wilcox High’s Lady Patriots.
Just three days after absorbing one of the worst losses ever by a girls team representing their school, coach Santita Coon’s visiting squad posted a 44-33 victory over arch-rival Hawkinsville.
The Patriots also got in on the winning act, handing the Red Devils a 62-54 defeat and bettering their record in the process to 2-0. They and the Lady Patriots will now be idle until a Wednesday home make-up game against Stewart County. They’ll then host Charlton County at 6 p.m. on Friday and visit Dooly at the same time on Saturday.
Wilcox 44, Hawkinsville 33 (girls)
After hanging close with its host before intermission (Hawkinsville led 10-8 after the first quarter and 21-17 at halftime), Wilcox began making a move that would ultimately result in a win.
By the third period’s end, coach Santita Coon’s Lady Patriots had pulled even at 28 and then in the final eight minutes outscored the Lady Red Devils 16-5 to nail down their triumph.
“We played much differently tonight than we did on Tuesday,” a beaming Coon said after watching her team prevail. “We had worked hard in practice the past two days and it showed in the improvement we made in our shooting, passing, dribbling — just everything.
“The girls are to be commended for the intensity they showed from the very beginning of the game, for the decent job they did at the free throw line (making 13 of 26 attempts) and for their hustle on our press.”
Erica Jackson topped the scoring for the winners with 17 points. Madison Little’s 9-point night led Hawkinsville which in a rarity did not attempt a single free throw in the game.
Score by Quarters
Wilcox County 8-9-11-16 — 44
Hawkinsville 10-11-7-5 — 33
Wilcox County (44) — Shantia Lawson, Lindsey Ponder 4, Dasjia Daniels, Tyonna Wright 2, Kadada Martin, Ja’da Curry 5. Erica Jackson 17, Takayla Mahoganey, Ciara Brown 8, Miracle Jones 8.
Team totals: field goals 15; free throws 13 of 26 (50%); fouls 7; 3-pointers — Jackson 1; fouled out — none.
Hawkinsville (33) — Tekilyah White 8, Olivia Daniel 2, Bridget Tiller 2, Tyneshia Edwards 6, Brittany Hill 6, Madison Little 9, Melissa Smith.
Team totals: field goals 14; free throws 0 of 0 (0%); fouls 21; 3-pointers — White 2, Hill 2, Little 1; fouled out — Little, Smith.
Patriots 62, Red Devils 54
Their deficit swelling to seven in the final seconds of the first half when they put up an off-target shot that the Red Devils rebounded and then hit a trey just before the buzzer, the Patriots came roaring back after intermission.
A 17-7 third period advantage allowed Wilcox to go on top to stay at 41-38. Its lead grew to as much as 14 before Hawkinville crept back to within eight when the Patriots played a token defense to keep the clock running at the end.
Makail Grace made sure the visitors stayed out front, canning 11 of his 21 points in the final stanza. Jonathan Howard hit another seven in the period to swell his total to a game-high 24 for the winners.
“It was a very physical game against the best Hawkinsville team I’ve seen in a while,” said Patriot mentor George Kennedy. “Coach (Stacy) Stephens has that entire program on the upswing as their B-team beat ours 49-46 (despite the Baby Pats’ getting 13 points from Antwan Benjamin and 12 from Johnny Scott).”
Score by Quarters
Wilcox County 14-10-17-21 — 62
Hawkinsville 14-17-7-16 — 54
Wilcox County (62) — Larry Lindsey, Larry Munford, Recardo Howard, Quinn Tisdol 4, Makail Grace 21, Michael Everson 2, A.J. Benjamin 4, Jonathan Howard 24, Johnny Dwight 7.
Team totals: field goals 21; free throws 16 of 43 (34.5%); fouls 11; 3-pointers — Tisdol 1, Grace 3; fouled out — none.
Hawkinsville (54) — Tay Lawson 2, Ditalion Williams 16, Tyler Porter 8, Rashon Griggs 9, Thaddeus Ates 14, Warren Singletary 5.
Team totals: field goals 21; free throws 5 of 9 (55.6%); fouls 24; 3-pointers — Williams 2, Ates 4, Singletary 1; fouled out — Griggs.