Sharpshooting Wildcats Coast To 81-46 Win Over Covington In Home Opener

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Wednesday, Dec. 6 – Leading from start to finish in its home opener, the Rockbridge County High School boys basketball team cruised to an 81-46 win over Covington on Wednesday, dealing the Cougars their first loss of the season.

With the win, the Wildcats (2-1) avenged a 62-51 loss in the season opener on Nov. 27 at Covington.

Unlike in their previous meeting with Covington (4-1), the Wildcats shot the ball well this time, making 54.7 percent (29-of-53) of their field goals, 47.8 percent (11-of-23) of their 3-pointers, and 92.3 percent (12-of-13) of their free throws.

Alex Balisteri led RC with 24 points, sinking two 3-pointers and going 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Byron Winchester, back after missing part of last week with the flu, came off the bench to score 19 points, hitting 5-of-7 3-pointers. Winchester made four of those treys in the first half, during which he had 14 points. Johnathan Mayo had a strong performance off the bench, scoring 10 points, and Harrison Hundley added nine points and three steals. Triniti Stores played strong defense and led the Wildcats with seven rebounds.

The Wildcats’ defense, mostly man-to-man, held Covington’s leading scorer, Kiante Barber, to 12 points. Hundley and Musa Kamara contained another scoring threat, KJ Moore, holding him to four points. Tijon Rice, who had led Covington with 21 points in the previous meeting, was held to five points.

RC’s shooters were on target early, racing to a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter. Keeping the momentum, the Wildcats continued on a 15-0 run to lead 31-11 early in the second quarter. The Wildcats were up 45-21 at halftime.

Covington scored the first five points of the second half, but the Wildcats responded with a pair of Balisteri free throws and an inside basket from Stores. RC extended its lead to 26 later in the quarter and led by as many as 36 in the fourth quarter, allowing reserves to get more playing time in front of their home fans.

RC took care of the ball well, committing just eight turnovers.

The Wildcats will begin Valley District action against Fort Defiance at home on Tuesday, starting with the junior varsity game at 5:30 p.m.

For the full story and photos from Wednesday's game, please see our Dec. 13 newspaper.

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