HOWELL’S COVE — Despite scoring just four points in the final quarter, the Winterboro girls basketball team managed to hold off area rival TC Central for a 31-28 road win Saturday night.
Down 29-26, TC Central’s Savona Garrett nailed a long 2pointer with 7.7 seconds to go, but the Lady Fighting Tigers didn’t have enough time for another shot.
“We were looking to get the 3 if we had it,” said TC Central head coach Robert Duncan. “She made a good shot, but she happened to step on the line. She couldn’t be worried about where her feet were.”
Following the jumper, Winterboro’s Tenesha Merritt was fouled on the in- bound pass and hit two clutch free throws to close the scoring.
The Lady Bulldogs held a 27-16 lead midway through the third quarter before going on a scoring drought that lasted until the 2:54 mark of the fourth.
“It was mainly because I put the young girls in a position to weather the storm,” said Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith. “They made some mistakes, but they were good mistakes. Playing on the road is always difficult.”
Jasmine Richardson led the way for Winterboro in the win with 18 points. Tenesha Merritt had five points, while Anslea Twymon and Nadia Estelle had four points each.
Savona Garrett led TC Central (17-7, 5-2) with 10 points, while Shakerri Garrett and Ashley Embry both had four points.
“We just didn’t perform well on the offensive end,” Duncan said. “The defensive pressure was there, but we didn’t get it done on offense. It’s the coach’s job to have the team ready and I have to take the fault for tonight. We need to go back to the drawing board and look to meet them again in the area tournament.”
The Fighting Tigers held an early lead in the game, but Winterboro ended the first quarter with a 7-0 run.
Richardson’s 3-pointer at the 2:10 mark of the quarter gave the Lady Bulldogs a 7-6 lead. The sophomore scored again moments later, and Twymon weaved through defenders in the final second for a jumper that gave Winterboro an 11-6 lead going into the second quarter.
Twymon burned more than one minute off the clock by standing at the top of the 3-point line to open second quarter. The trend continued throughout the game on various possessions.
Savona Garrett hit a 3-pointer to bring TC Central within three with about four minutes to go until the break. She hit another with about 20 seconds to go to cut Winterboro’s lead down to 17-14.
The game appeared to be slipping out of TC Central’s grasp in
third quarter as Winterboro took control with a 10-2 run.
Richardson scored six points on the run, and the Lady Bulldogs held an 11-point lead at 27-16.
The Lady Fighting Tigers, however, managed to cut the lead back down to five points by the end of the third quarter with baskets from Shakerri Garrett, Debria Stallworth and Embry. Embry hit two free throws with six minutes to go to make it 27-24.
Both teams had difficulty finding a basket in the fourth quarter. Richardson’s layup with three minutes to go gave her team a 29-24 edge.
Winterboro will host Vincent on Tuesday, while TC Central plays its final area game against ASD on Tuesday.