With the win the Bulldogs improve to 3-1 in area play and 4-11 overall. Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith is pleased with the growth in Leonard’s game this season.
“Honestly, Nick has always been able to shoot the ball extremely well since his 10th grade year,” Smith said. ”Nick has finally incorporated making great basketball plays in his senior year. The last few years, he hasn’t had to do that, he had people setting him up. He has been able to create against Sacred Heart. Against Munford, when he was in a slump he was still seeing how the offense needs to be developed. Nick has grown into a player that values a win and a loss. My thing is with that you love to have players like that. He puts in the extra work, he is always watching film.”
The senior opened the game with a quick five points to give the Bulldogs a 7-4 advantage. Later in the quarter, Leonard scored five points to spark a 10-4 run. Back-to-back 3 pointers by Leonard and Cedarius Burroughs increased Winterboro’s lead to 19-8.
Fayetteville ended the quarter on a 6-2 spurt that cut the Winterboro lead down to 21-14.
Leonard scored 13 of his 23 first half points in the second quarter. Leonard scored seven points during Winterboro’s 12-2 run to open the second quarter. His 3-pointer capped off the run and gave the Bulldogs a 33-16 lead.
Leonard scored the last six points of the half to give Winterboro a 41-28 lead going into halftime.
“I’m just trying to do my best when I get on the floor, Leonard said. “I am trying to help my teammates out and try to do what we have to do to get a win. It is going to be tough this week. We have two area games coming up. On Friday, we have TC and on Saturday we have Westminster.”
The Bulldogs sharp shooter wasn’t the only one who made their presence felt on the court. Jutorrius Cook had a monster game on the low block. Cook scored 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
The sophomore center scored nine of his points in the second half. Cook scored four of Winterboro’s 10 points in the third quarter. His layup with 4:49 left in the quarter increased their lead to 19 points. Winterboro took a 51-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
CJ Townsend tried to keep the Wolves within striking distance. His layup with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter cut the Winterboro lead down to 51-41.
Leonard and Cook made sure that was as close as Fayetteville would get. Both players scored five points apiece in a 16-3 run to end the game.
“Tonight’s win, I saw three things that we desperately working on as far as getting better,” Smith said. “I tried to get a lot of bench players a lot of playing time in, because I know how important Friday’s game is. I really feel like our last six games including that real big loss to Talladega put us in the situation where the kids are tired of not putting their best on the floor. The last six games we have really progressed into a better team. Tonight was a god thing, because I saw us do some smart things. We still have a lot to work on before Friday.”
Contact LaVonte Young at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LYoung_DHSports.