By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
The Lady Patriots of Winston Academy rolled into this week’s action having won eight of their last nine games as they look to close out district play in style.
The Winston Academy boys and girls were set to visit Oak Hill Academy on Tuesday and then travel to Flora to take on Tri-County Academy on Thursday. Both squads will then play host to Starkville on Friday, before paying a visit to Heritage Academy in Columbus next Tuesday.
Last week the Lady Patriots — who are currently ranked No. 4 ini MAIS Class AA with an overall record of 23-8 — swept all three of the games they played. Winston opened the week with a 49-35 win over Kirk, then followed that up with a 63-24 win over Kemper Academy and a 51-23 win over visiting Canton Academy on senior night.
Leake Academy is currently leading the region with WA in second and Oak Hill and Tri-County battling for the third spot.
Katie McCool scored 17 points to lead the Lady Patriots in the win over homestanding Kirk, while Marianne Ward scored 14 and Darby Nowell added eight.
Nowell scored 16 to pace WA against Kemper, while Ward tossed in 13 and McCool added eight. Winston held a 29-4 lead after one quarter against the Lady Rams and was up 39-10 at the half.
The Lady Pats again hopped out to an early advantage on Thursday, leading Canton Academy 19-6 after one quarter and 29-9 at the half. Ward scored 16 points to pace the winners in that contest, while McCool had 13 and Nowell eight.
The Winston Academy boys got back into the win column last Tuesday with a 55-50 victory over Kemper but actually played well in all three contests. The Patriots lost to Kirk 54-48 and then fell to No. 4-ranked Canton 57-38, after only trailing 31-30 going into the fourth quarter.
“The boys played great,” said WA head boys coach Cory Burns. “The score got out of hand late, but it was a much closer game than the score indicated.
“I was very encouraged by the effort,” he said. “The boys showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight against the No. 4 team in the state. We just ran out of energy down the stretch. We will more than likely get a rematch with them in the first round of the district tournament and last night (Thursday) showed our boys that we can beat them.
“At the first of the year our goal was to finish top four in the district tournament and if we beat them then we accomplish that goal,” Burns said.
Carter Lane jones scored 18 points and had four rebounds in the loss to Canton Academy, while Brock Baker had six points and eight rebounds.
Baker scored 17 points against Kirk, while Logan Webb had 14 points and seven rebounds and Jones had 11 points and five boards.
Winston was down seven points to Kemper at the half, but fought back to take the win. Jones scored 18, while Baker had 13 points and seven rebounds and Webb had 10 points and six rebounds.