Winfield wins WAC with comeback

The Winfield Pirates varsity boys’ basketball team are the WAC tournament champions! Left to right, top row: Coach Billy Stovall, Coach Derek Trimm, Head Coach Zac Wakefield, Casen Sadsberry, Haiden Channell, Jacob Chism, Keylan Hughes, Slate Gilbert, Sean Wyers, Preston Nelson, Jaret Hosch, Miles Miles, Jacob Barnes, Coach Zach Evans, Kruz Box, Aaron Rao and Coach Thackary Box. Bottom row: Becket Carothers and Memphis Boman.

FAYETTE — The Winfield Pirates varsity basketball team won the 2023 WAC tournament at Fayette County High School on Monday, Dec. 18.
The Pirates played their first game of the tournament in the second round.
The first round saw the Fayette Tigers and Lamar County Bulldogs square off on Friday night, December 15. The Tigers won that game 61-39, knocking out the Bulldogs.
The Pirates played the Sulligent Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon. The first quarter was a close battle. Winfield’s Slate Gilbert opened the game with a three-point shot, but the Blue Devils also got their due.
The Pirates held a decent 41-27 lead going into halftime, although the Blue Devils came back in full-force in the second half.
The Pirates scored 15 points in the third quarter, while the Blue Devils picked up the pace and scored 19.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Pirates were leading 56-46, and the Blue Devils kept up the pace, once again outscoring the Pirates 24-21.
But the Pirates’ 21 points were still enough to exorcise the Blue Devils from the tournament with a 77-70 victory.
Gilbert led the Pirates in points with 36, along with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Sean Wyers scored 18 points, and grabbed eight rebounds. He also made one assist.
Preston Nelson scored eight points, Haiden Channell scored six points, Jarrett Hosch scored five, and Miles Miles and Jacob Chism scored two points each.
The Fayette Tigers also won their second-round match-up against the South Lamar Stallions 73-64 to secure their spot in the final game against the Pirates on Monday, Dec. 18.
The final game began with the Tigers taking an early lead in the first quarter at 18-13.
The second quarter saw much of the same, with the Tigers scoring 20 more points and the Pirates scoring 14 more.
The Pirates were losing 38-27 going into the locker room at halftime, but they left the locker room and pulled a sharp U-turn in the second half.
The Pirates scored 36 points in the third quarter while holding the Tigers to only eight.
As the game entered the fourth quarter, the Pirates were leading 63-46.
The Pirates only allowed 13 more points from the Tigers while scoring 12 of their own to maintain their lead and win the game 75-59 to claim the WAC championship.
Gilbert broke 30 points again, 31 to be exact, and also made three assists and one steal.
Wyers scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and two steals.
Channell scored nine points and got away with three steals.  
Nelson scored seven points and made six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Chism scored five points, and Hosch also scored five along with making three rebounds. Miles scored two more points.
The Lady Pirates also played their first game in the second round of the tournament, but they played the Lady Tigers first.
The Lady Pirates fell behind 24-16 in the first half, but nearly came back to win in the fourth quarter.
After being tied at 33-33, the Lady Tigers pulled ahead and managed to hold off the Lady Pirates to win 42-36.
The Lady Tigers played the Lady Blue Devils in the final round of the tournament, which Sulligent won 65-35.
After the WAC tournament, the Pirates hosted the Hamilton Aggies on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
The boys’ game was a nail-biter, with the score remaining close throughout the game.
The Pirates were trailing 40-33 going into the fourth quarter, but almost pulled off another comeback in the fourth quarter.
The Pirates scored 26 points to the Aggies’ 21, just missing overtime or victory with a 61-59 loss.
Mason Holloway led the Aggies with 23 points. Kelton Battle scored 14 points and made two rebounds.
Joshua Webb scored nine points, Kevin McBride scored seven points, Kaden Whitaker scored three, and Morgan Williams and Dylan Frederick scored two points each.
Hunter Galbreath scored the final point.
The top three scorers for Winfield were Gilbert with 21 points, Nelson with 15 and Wyers with 12.
The Lady Aggies defeated the Lady Pirates 57-24.
Jordon Parker led the Lady Aggies with 21 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Emily Jones with 19 points and five rebounds.
Aubrey Sorrells scored 10 points and made seven rebounds, and Ella Kelley scored four points and made three rebounds.
The top three scorers for the Lady Pirates were Julie Anderson with nine points, Jayci Griffin with six points and Kennah Beth Lacy with four points.

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