Winterboro advances

Winterboro’s Brandon Dandridge looks to make a move against an ASD defender Tuesday night.

ALPINE — Cameron Pointer scored 23 points to lead Winterboro past Alabama School for the Deaf 72-43 in the Class 1A, Area 7 tournament Tuesday night.

With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to Thursday area championship game against Talladega County Central. The Fighting Tigers defeated Victory Christian 55-31 on Tuesday night.

“In the first half, Cameron Pointer kept us alive,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “We held Nick (Stamps) out as a precaution. We played him a little bit, but we said that we were going to invest into our other players because you are only as strong as your weakest link.

“Cameron Pointer had a great first half, and our team shot the ball extremely well in the second half. I am thankful for my guys to be able to pull out the win tonight, so we can advance to the area championship game.”

The Silent Warriors led throughout the first half behind the strong play of Cory McKinnie. The sophomore guard scored 13 of his 16 points over the first 16 minutes.  

With leading scorer Stamps sidelined with an injury, sophomore guard Pointer picked up the scoring load for Winterboro, connecting on seven 3-pointers. Five of them came in the first half, including four in the second quarter.

With the score tied at 19-all with less than two minutes remaining in the half, Pointer drained three straight from downtown to give Winterboro a 28-21 lead going into intermission.

“I kept shooting the ball,” Pointer said. “Coach said if I am open to shoot the ball, and that’s what I did. I had confidence that I was going to make it, so I kept shooting.”

In the third quarter, Winterboro took control of the game, outscoring ASD 18-12 to build a 46-33 advantage.

Pointer got things going with his sixth 3 to give Winterboro a 31-23 lead.

RJ Burns scored seven straight points, including an old-fashion 3-point play, to increase the margin to 37-25.

In the fourth quarter, Winterboro got hot from behind the arc. The Bulldogs hit six 3s, including five straight to balloon their lead to 68-42.

“I am real confident in us shooting the ball, “Smith said. “Omar Dobbins, I restricted him from the 3-ball last year because I feel like that wasn’t his strong suit. Now, if he makes a good shot selection, I am good with it. Kaleb (Hale), I am good with it. “Cameron (Pointer), I am good with it. Nick (Stamps), I am good with it. I want these guys to be serious in the morning when they wake up. I want them to be serious and driven to our goals.”

The Silent Warriors finished the season at 9-11. ASD head coach Walter Ripley will have to replace six seniors off this season’s team.

Winterboro will look to defeat archrival TC Central for the fourth time in a row and third time this season Thursday night.

“It is going to be extremely hard,” Smith said. “Coach (Acardia) Garrett and those guys are playing good right now. I saw them in the Cornerstone game (a TCC win last week) and I was very impressed. Those guys get after it, and they represent the Fighting Tigers to the fullest. They have lost leads against us and they probably won’t lose the lead if they get it again like they had against us. They are very driven and focused.”