Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

December 12, 2012

Patriots debut on victorious note; Lady Patriots swamped

Rochelle — Four days after seeing their dream of a state football championship shattered, Wilcox High’s Patriots launched their bid for a state basketball title with a 66-63 Tuesday night win over Coffee County.

That triumph salvaged a split of a doubleheader as earlier in the evening the Lady Trojans had handed the Lady Patriots what was definitely their worst loss in 15 years and possibly their worst setback ever, 88-15.

Both Wilcox teams will be back in action twice this weekend, traveling to Hawkinsville on Friday and Echols County (Statenville) on Saturday for twin bills tipping off at 6 p.m.

Patriots 66, Trojans 63

With just five hours of practice under their belts due to the school’s late finish on the gridiron where they made it to the semifinals, the Patriots naturally got off to a slow start.

But after finding itself trailing 17-9 after a quarter and 41-27 at halftime, Wilcox launched what would be a successful rally with a 15-8 third period edge that brought it to within 49-42.

Led by the trio of Calvin Rawls, Makail Grace and Jonathan Howard who combined for 22 of the team’s 24 points in the final stanza, the Class A hosts caught and passed their Class AAAAAA guests.

“Considering we’d only had two days of work before taking the floor, I thought we did well,” coach George Kennedy said. “We did have the first quarter jitters, but as the game progressed we loosened up and did OK.

“It’s still going to take us a little while to knock the rust off and get our running legs under us but I think we’ll get there. To do so, though, we’re going to have to get help off the bench while using at least 8-9 guys all of whom must play hard and make contributions in one way or another.”

Grace, Rawls and Johnny Dwight all wound up with double-digit points totals for the winners, scoring 24, 19 and 12 points, respectively. D.J. Wiley canned 18 and Dikembe Deberry deposited 10 for the losers.

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