By Rocky Higginbotham
Winston County Journal
Nanih Waiya swept a pair of District 6-1A basketball contests last Friday night at home, topping Sebastopol 50-45 in the girls’ contest and winning 54-51 in the boys’ game.
Those wins capped a perfect week for the Warriors and Lady Warriors, who swept French Camp Academy in non-district action 63-37 and 55-46 last Tuesday night.
The Lady Warriors entered this week with a 5-9 overall record, while the Warriors sported a 6-7 mark coming into the week.
Both teams were to visit Leake County on Tuesday and both are scheduled to entertain Philadelphia on Saturday. Next week, Nanih Waiya hosts West Lowndes on Tuesday (Jan. 31) and welcomes Noxapater on Friday (Feb. 3).
In Friday night’s girls’ contest, Nanih Waiya roared back from behind thanks to a big fourth-quarter effort from Essence Stricklin.
“She was an instrumental part of our win,” Lady Warrior coach Jaimee Childs said of Stricklin, who scored 13 of her 18 points in the final period.
Stricklin was also 5-of-5 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe in the contest.
Nanih Waiya started strong, but Sebastopol closed the first half on a 14-3 run to go up 23-15. The Lady Bobcats still led 37-28 going into the fourth quarter, where the Lady Warriors closed the game on a 22-8 spurt.
Against French Camp last Tuesday, the Lady Warriors opened the game on a 24-5 run and had the Lady Panthers playing catch-up the rest of the way.
Stricklin poured in 23 points in this contest and was again deadly from the free-throw line when it counted. She hit all eight free throws in the fourth quarter and finished 10-of-13 from the line.
Hope Thames added 18 points for the Lady Warriors in the win.
No other details were available from the Nanih Waiya boys’ contests before press time.