By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Winston Academy girls basketball coach Robin Chastain is looking for big things out of her Lady Patriots this year and so far that’s just what she’s getting.
The Lady Pats were off to a 6-2 record on the year heading into a trio of road games this week, culminating with a match-up against defending MAIS Overall State Champion Starkville Academy on Saturday. Winston was set to visit Greenwood Pillow on Tuesday and Central Academy of Macon on Thursday.
After the three road games this week, the Lady Patriots won’t play again until Dec. 2 when they travel to Meridian to take on Lamar School.
“I feel like we have a really good presence on the inside,” said Chastain, in her second year as head girls coach at WA. “We have two good post players in Marianne Ward and Katie McCool and we also like to generate offense with our defense by causing turnovers.”
Sophomore Hayden Hudspeth will be handling most of the point guard duties for WA, while Darby Nowell and Madeline Kirkpatrick will be counted on for outside shooting and good defense.
“Darby and Hayden both like to push the ball,” Chastain said. “They really love to get out and run and create as many three on two and two on ones as they can.”
In all the Lady Patriots have seven seniors on the squad this season.
WA opened the season with a 44-16 win over Central Academy in the Kemper Invitational behind 20 points from Ward, 10 from Nowell and eight from McCool. The Lady Pats took a 45-25 win over host Kemper Academy on the next night, as Katie McCool hit for 18 points and Abigail McCool scored seven.
The Lady Patriots fell to East Rankin Academy 60-44 in the finals of the event, after falling behind 20-13 after one quarter and 36-23 at the half. Katie McCool had 18 points and seven rebounds for WA, while Ward scored nine.
Winston jumped out to a 27-7 first quarter lead on the way to improving to 3-1 on the season with a 64-18 win over visiting Immanuel Christian on Nov. 5. Katie McCool led the way with 16 points, followed by Ward with 10 and Abigail McCool with nine.
Two nights later the Lady Pats suffered their only other loss of the season so far as they fell to Class AAA Madison-Ridgeland Academy 38-31 on the road. Katie McCool had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the game, with Ward scoring eight.
Winston then began a three-game winning streak with a 43-33 home win over Heritage Academy of Columbus on Monday, Nov. 11. Ward was red hot, dropping in 25 points and claiming five boards for the winners, while Nowell had six points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Winston had to go to overtime to knock off Class AAA Pillow Academy the following night, blanking the visitors 4-0 in the overtime period to take the 31-27 victory.
Ward hit on seven-of-eight free throws to score 17 points to go along with her 10 rebounds. Nowell had six points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Last Thursday the Lady Patriots jumped out to a 21-3 lead on visiting Kemper Academy on the way to a 61-18 win to move to 6-2 on the year. Abigail McCool led the way with 12 points, three assists and four rebounds, while Hudspeth had 10 points and Joleigh Wilkes had eight points and four rebounds. Katie McCool had seven points and six boards, while Ward scored seven points.