The Winder-Barrow High School boys’ basketball team needed a GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA victory on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and for a while it appeared it would be easy.
But After racing out to a 14-point lead after the first quarter, the Bulldoggs had to hold off a Dacula High School comeback attempt as the game got a little closer than players and coaches would have liked. In the end WBHS secured the 64-55 win and will now prepare for a home game with state-ranked Lanier High School on Friday, Jan. 17.
Tyreek Perkins, despite playing sick with a 100-degree fever, poured in 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals and looked almost unstoppable at times, especially in the third quarter, for the Bulldoggs (13-6, 3-2 region). Perkins scored 14 points in the third quarter alone and added four key points in the game’s final eight minutes. He also made a behind-the-back assist to teammate Isaiah Nelson-Ododa in the fourth quarter.
“Tyreek gutted this one out,” Bulldogg coach Travis McDaniel said. “Isaiah was also dealing with back pain. We came out with great energy to start the game but to Dacula’s credit they settled in and got back in it.”
The Falcons (7-13, 2-3) trailed 21-7 after the first quarter but had cut the deficit to 31-27 by halftime.
It took a basket by Nelson-Ododa to stop a 6-0 run by Dacula to start the second quarter, but the Falcons answered with a 3-pointer.
Dacula caught WBHS at 35-35 with 5:25 left in the third following another 3-pointer. A steal and a dunk by Perkins gave McDaniel’s team a lead back which it would not give up again.
The Bulldoggs made some key free throws down the stretch and Nelson-Ododa had three blocks in the fourth quarter despite dealing with back pain.
Cam Stillwell, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, had a key play late in the game. Stillwell was fouled on a successful basket. He missed the free throw but battled for the rebound which went out of bounds off a Dacula player.
Free throws by Stewart Allen, Ahmad Scott and Perkins in the final minute sealed the win. Scott finished with 9 points, 5 assists and 3 steals while Nelson-Ododa added 7 points. Allen totaled 6 points.
“We were able to handle the run Dacula made and stayed just enough in front in the second half,” McDaniel said. “We made our free throws late while they struggled. That was a big difference.”
McDaniel said he likes his team’s chances against Lanier on Friday, noting it played well on the road against the Longhorns earlier this season.