Bulldogs headed to JSU

Winterboro’s Josh Tanner (5) scored 19 points against JCA on Tuesday.

ALPINE -- Winterboro High School’s boys basketball team defeated Jacksonville Christian Academy 79-56 on Tuesday night in a Class 1A sub-regional.

With the win, the Bulldogs (19-8) advanced to the Northeast Regional tournament at Pete Matthews Coliseum on the campus of Jacksonville State University. Winterboro will take on Skyline on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Sweet 16.

“We got off to a slow start, and Jacksonville Christian has been playing pretty good lately,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “They had a good area tournament game against Spring Garden.

“We had to come out and withstand their fight. We got them in foul trouble a little bit. It was a tightly called game, which is something a lot of us are not used to. We persevered and broke away a little bit in the third quarter. We had to make some adjustments, but our kids did extremely well on the adjustment.”

The Bulldogs led 19-15 after the first quarter and took a 30-25 edge into intermission.

Winterboro was able to take control of the game in the third period thanks to the Brandon Dandridge. The junior forward provided a spark for the Bulldogs.

Dandridge blocked a shot, then hustled to the other end of the court for an offensive rebound, which was kicked out to Josh Tanner for a layup to give the Bulldogs a 37-30 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Dandridge came up with another block, which led to a Cameron Pointer layup to increase the margin to 39-30.

The Thunder fought their way back into the game behind the shooting of Kobe Messer.

The junior forward scored 14 points in the quarter, which included a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 51-47 with 50 seconds left in the period.

Winterboro ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to increase its lead back to double-digits. Tanner nailed a wide open 3 to push the margin to 54-47.

Pointer ended the quarter with an old-fashion 3-point play. The junior guard took a hit while scoring a layup. He hit the free throw to make it 57-47.

Winterboro put the game away in the fourth quarter as it was able to create turnovers, which led to points in transition.

Pointer scored on a reverse layup to make it 74-54. On the inbounds pass, Kameron Edwards made a steal and layup.

Three to know

-Winterboro had four score players in double figures. Tanner led the way with 19 points. Pointer scored 13 of his 18 in the second half. Edwards scored 12, while Dandridge added 10.

- Messer led the way for the Thunder with 23 points. Chase Vinson scored 20 for JCA.

- This was Winterboro’s last game in its gym. Winterboro will play in a new gym at its new high school next season.

Who said:

- Smith on advancing to JSU for the first time since the 2015-16 season: “Winterboro is a basketball school, and it has a lot of tradition in boys basketball, and we are trying to get it back there. I appreciate a lot of the alumni that have communicated with me throughout the year and shown up to the games.”

- Smith on Tanner’s performance: “This is one of the few games that Josh has shot the ball like that. Josh was confident tonight, and that is something we have wanted to happen. We want him to be confident. They gave him the shot, and he was able to find his rhythm in the second half.”

Up next:

Winterboro will take on Skyline in the Sweet 16 on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at JSU. Skyline (23-8) defeated Whitesburg Christian 63-36 on Tuesday night.