Payton Sparks nets 21 in Winchester’s first victory

New head coach Travis Stangland brought his Randolph Southern Rebels into the Winchester Field House Friday night with the intentions of moving to 2-0 on this young season. 

Winchester had other things in mind though as the Falcons were looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance at New Castle on November 26. 

The Falcons did exactly that as Winchester rolled over its Randolph County rival, winning the match-up by a final score of 61-35. Both teams now stand at 1-1 on the season.

Leading the way once again for Winchester was 6’8” junior post Payton Sparks, who tossed in a game high 21 points, including a monster dunk in the third quarter, to go along with a floor high 11 rebounds. Sparks would be the only Falcon to reach double figures, but Winchester had plenty of balance that chipped in with eight teammates also getting into the scoring act. 

Parker Retter led the six Rebels that scored by tossing in a trio of three-pointers for nine points.

Winchester’s size advantage and defensive pressure were the key elements that led the Falcons to victory. Neither team shot the ball extremely well, but Winchester’s ability to crash the offensive glass paid big dividends as the Falcons owned a 48-26 advantage for the game on the boards. 

Along with Winchester’s trapping defenses forcing nine first half Rebel turnovers, the Falcons were consistent in turning a 19-9 first quarter advantage into a 36-19 half-time lead. By the end of the third quarter, Winchester’s cushion had grown to a 53-30 margin, allowing the Falcons to coast to the finish line in the final stanza and in the process show improvement from their outing against the Trojans.

“Offensively we had a little more confidence in our shot,” answered Winchester head coach Dustin Baldwin. “We still left some points on the floor, inside and out, but I thought we did a lot better job of not getting our heads down and just keep shooting. Defensively, I think our press was a big factor tonight and in our half-court, defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job of taking their main guys out. Cole Campbell and Dane Sickels did a really good job on (Jordan) Saylor and we made them take tough shots all night.”

The Rebels finished the game hitting nine of 40 from the field (22.5%) but were efficient at the line hitting 10 of 10. Winchester’s pressure defense took its toll forcing Southern to commit 18 turnovers.

Coach Stangland gave praise to Winchester.

“I’ve got to give all the credit in the world to Coach Baldwin because their guards just took us completely out of our offense,” explained Coach Stangland. “We’re trying to run the offense from 35 feet and we’re just dribbling the basketball and just not running our offense because they were pressuring us. Just because you’re not scoring doesn’t mean you can’t make the extra pass that’s going to set up the next cut, set up the next ball screen. We have to learn to trust the system.”

Winchester finished the game hitting 18 of 65 from the field, 28 percent, but 20 offensive rebounds cleaned up many of those misses. The Falcons committed 15 turnovers while sinking three of six at the charity stripe for 50 percent.

Winchester faces a tough challenge Tuesday, having a road trip to Delta while Randolph Southern also returns to action Tuesday hosting Anderson Prep Academy.

Winchester claimed the high-paced junior varsity contest defeating Randolph Southern 67-52. The now 1-1 young Falcons placed nearly five into double digits. Cooper McCoy led WC with 16 points with Mason Barker and Paul Welch following with 15 each while Will Anderson and Wyatt Harvey chipped in by scoring nine each for the Falcons. Jamison Beshears rounded out WC’s scoring with three points. 

The Rebels, playing in their first JV contest of the season, were led by the 18 points from Quorbin McDavid. Wyatt Saylor followed with 10 points while Jake Good chipped in with eight points. Quentin McDavid added seven points for the Rebels. Jake Mifsud scored four while three points from Zach Chamberlain and two form Nehemiah McKenzie rounded out the scoring for RS.

Game summary

R. Southern 9 10 11 5 35

Winchester 19 17 17 8 61

REBELS (0-1) Retter 3-0-0/0-0-9; Peters 2-1-0/0-0-8; Allen 1-4/4-4-6; Haines 0-0/0-0-0; Saylor 1-0-4/4-1-7; Wright 1-0-0/0-1-3; Ward 0-2/2-2-2 Totals 7-2-10/10-8-35 

WC: W. Sickels 2-0-0/0-1-6; Campbell 1-0/0-2-2; Burelison 1-0-0/0-1-3; Dunica 3-0/0-2-6; Sparks 10-1/2-1-21; Patterson 3-1/2-2-7; Slusher 3-0-0/0-0-9; D. Sickels 2-0-0/0-5-6; Welch 0-0/0-0-0; McCoy 0-1/2-1-1 Totals 8-17-3/6-15-61

Reserve summary

R. Southern 12 13 11 16 52

Winchester 15 19 15 18 67

REBELS – Quorbin McDavid 18; Quentin McDavid 7; Allen 0; Saylor 10; Good 8; Mifsud 4; McKenzie 2

FALCONS – Harvey 9; McCoy 16; Anderson 9; Welch 15; Barker 15; Beshears 3; Loyd 0; Preston 0; Sauser 0; McHolland 0.