Wando rolls past Stratford
Wando maintained its region momentum from Tuesday with a 65-40 home win over Stratford as an encore performance Friday.
Wando (16-3, 3-0) has won its first three games in Region VII by an average margin of 29 points. The past two games, the Warriors didn't just beat their competition; they pushed them past the point of control. For the second straight game, Wando's relentless attack broke a top region opponent down mentally, turning its pregame enthusiasm into late-game frustration. Just like Tuesday, Wando's dominance methodically turned its opponent's emotions against them and earned trips to the free-throw line off technical fouls with a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"We talk all the time about playing so hard that you do break teams,"Wando head coach David Eaton said. "W have a good group of mature players with a lot of varsity experience and we stick to doing what we do. It's not about what the other team is doing or saying. We just try to stay focused on playing our game and doing what we do."
The Warriors did a lot of what they wanted in the second half Friday, turning a five-point halftime lead into a 16-point advantage with a 13-2 run to start the third quarter. Wando asserted its dominance and fed into its spirited home atmosphere with a breakaway dunk by Jamez Rogers that he followed with put-back slam later in the half. Matthew Pegram threw down a dunk off a drop-step to go with the four blocked shots he swatted around the gym.
Rogers finished with 17 points, Pegram 14, and Trevor Behrens, Andrew Glover and Amp Moore each added seven. Rashad Parker led Stratford with 14, Demetre Rivers scored 12.
"We were a little worried coming into tonight about regaining that intensity from the Goose Creek game," Eaton said. "You don't naturally get that back and Stratford is a good team. I'm proud of our guys for getting it back in the second half and putting it on them."
Wando took the court Friday in special warm-up shirts to honor the late Joe Kutcher, a beloved math teacher and sports announcer at Wando. Jan. 25 is Kutcher's birthday. The Warriors student section showed up dressed in ties -- a tribute to Kutcher who was known for his extensive collection. More than once, the students filled the gym with chants for the man affectionately known as "The Voice of Wando."