Winnsboro’s Season Ends With Loss To Sunnyvale In Regional Tournament
HEATH -- Things looked good for Winnsboro very early with back-to-back 3-point shots from Timber Brown and Logan Redding in Saturday's Class 3A Region II semifinal game against Sunnyvale at Rockwall-Heath High School.
But getting past the top-ranked team in the state required more than a good start. Sunnyvale ran away with the game, 70-41, to eliminate the Lady Red Raiders for the second straight season and advanced into the regional championship game.
"The expectations are always high at Winnsboro just simply because of the tradition," head coach Chris Lewis said. "That helps carry us a lot of times. But each team is different. This team accomplished a quite a lot."
Winnsboro, the No. 17 3A team in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' final poll, finished its year with a 29-7 record. It closed the campaign as the runner up in District 14-3A behind Alba-Golden and notched three playoff wins before bowing out.
Sunnyvale (34-2) quickly erased an early 6-2 deficit with a 17-2 run. It led 19-10 at the end of the first quarter and Lady Red Raiders' deficit grew each quarter.
The top-ranked team recorded 12 steals, led by four from leading scorer Grace Goodhart, and benefitted from 20 total Winnsboro turnovers.
But shooting was the biggest decider.
Sunnyvale shot about 50 percent on its 49 attempts from the floor. Winnsboro made 11 of 39 attempts.
"Last year, we had them on the ropes and felt like we had them beat," Lewis said. "This year, we came out hot and then cooled off. They don't miss a lot of shots. I honestly can't think of many offensive possessions where they didn't score. We gave them a lot of easy buckets that we shouldn't have given up. We gave up eight points off of steals and layups. Then too many second shots."
All five of Sunnyvale's starters finished the game with double-digit point totals. They were the only players to score for the winning side.
Sunnyvale was led by Goodhart's 23 points. The least productive starter scored 11 points.
Winnsboro had four scorers total. Brown paced the team with 14 points, Bailey Swanner scored 11 and Darby Deaton had 10. Logan Redding had the remainder of the team's scoring with five points.
Sunnyvale has not played its last East Texas team. It will meet Alba-Golden at 2 p.m. Sunday inside Rockwall-Heath's gym. Alba-Golden, the 10th-ranked 3A team in the state, defeated Bowie 59-53 on the other side of the bracket.
The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the state tournament next week in San Antonio.
Winnsboro will try to bounce back next season with seven letter winners returning.
Unfortunately, the team did have to say farewell to Swanner, Kaylan Griffin, Kaylyn Knight and Reagan Johnson.
"They're good kids," Lewis said. "I've been here a long time and have had the luxury of coaching those kids from seventh grade all the way through 12th grade. I've had them for six years and I hate to see them go. It's hard, but there's only one team that wins."
No. 1 Sunnyvale 70, No. 17 Winnsboro 41
Girls Class 3A Region II Semifinal
At Rockwall-Heath High School, Heath
Winnsboro 10 10 13 8 -- 41
Sunnyvale 19 18 17 14 -- 70
WINNSBORO (29-7) -- Timber Brown 14; Bailey Swanner 11; Reahan Johnson 10; Logan Redding 5.
SUNNYVALE (34-2) -- Grace Goodhart 23; Ivy Alexander 13; Leslie Berry 12; Karah Sicurella 12; Bria Johnson 11.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Winnsboro: Brown (3), Redding. Sunnyvale: Goodhart (4), Johnson.