TC Central has won three of there four last games after getting off to a 0-7 start.
“That is all we talk about from the very beginning –defense,” TC Central head coach Damien Dorsey said. “That is all we are going to preach from here on out. We turned it up and we got some good steals. We got some and ones; that gave us momentum and we kept it.”
Winterboro opened the fourth quarter on a 12-4 run to cut TC Central’s lead down to 52-50 with 3:39 left in the game.
Freshman Crystale Stockdale layup with 3:25 left in the game increased TC Central’s lead to 54-50.
Cedric McKenzie hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead back down to 54-52 with 2:38 left in the game. The Fighting Tigers went on an 11-0 to end the game.
Stockdale got things started with a jumper to push the Fighting Tigers lead back to 56-52.
TC Central’s defensive intensity picked up the last two minutes of the game. After forcing Winterboro to take a tough shot, Dewayne Wallace found Tyler Cross streaking down the court for an easy layup to make it 58-52. Stockdale forced the Bulldogs to turn the ball over in the backcourt and he took in for a layup to make it 60-52.
“It was all about my teammates,” Stockdale said. “ Without team work we cant progress. I rode off the momentum. I knew I need to make a play, because they were coming back. They played a hard game. We played a hard game and we were able to come out on top at the end.”
Turnovers and the inability to knock down some open looks hurt Winterboro down the stretch.
Tyler Cross put the game away with layup to give the Fighting Tigers a 65-52 victory. Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said their decision making down the stretch was the difference.
“ We were able to come back four times tonight, but our decision making and the lack of boxing out got the best of us tonight,” Smith said. “TC really got after it on the boards and made shots when they needed too. Unless we get some kind of basketball IQ down pact- that is the only way we are going to be able to move forward. We are not talking athleticism, because our athleticism is here. We just have to make smarter decisions and be mindful of certain basketball situations.”
TC Central opened the game on a 9-0 run. Winterboro responded with an 8-0 run of their own to cut the lead down to 9-8. The Fighting Tigers took a 20-14 lead into the second quarter.
Frankie Pedraza scored eight of his 13 points in the second quarter to help TC Central take a 37-30 lead into halftime.
Cross led TC Central with 19 points, while Stockdale scored 15 points.
Jutorrious Cook led Winterboro with 16 points. McKenize scored 12 points, while Nick Leonard scored 11 points.