Winslow outduels Holbrook before packed house
The scoreboard showed yet another win for the Winslow boys’ basketball team against rival Holbrook.
But in stunning fashion, the Roadrunners made Winslow sweat it out last Friday night as the No. 7 ranked Bulldogs scratched its way to a 66-60 triumph before a packed house at Winslow High School.
“This was a gutsy win,” said Winslow coach Scott Corum, whose team improved to 12-4 overall and 1-1 in 3A East play. “We didn’t play well but we found a way to pull it out. That’s a good sign of a good team when you don’t play well and still find a way to win the game.”
Longtime Holbrook coach Delmar Johnson said nobody gave his team a chance but after wiping away a 10-point deficit in the early going of the second quarter, the Roadrunners (7-9, 1-1) looked like they were going to turn this one-sided series around.
“This is probably the best we’ve played all year, especially against a team like Winslow, the defending state champions,” Johnson said. “The thing that I had to tell them before the games is, ‘You’ve got to believe in yourself first and then as a team you got to believe in one another.’”
If not for the work of Winslow point guard Darius James, things might have been different. James finished the game with 24 points with 12 coming in the fourth quarter.
“He’s our guy, there’s no secret about that,” Corum. “We like the ball in his hands, especially late in the game in crucial situations. When we need a bucket that is who we look for and he knows when to take over.”
With 2:34 left in the contest, James gave Winslow a little breathing room by converting an old-fashion three-point play for a 60-55 cushion.
“We didn’t have one person to defend him,” Johnson said of James. “He can create his own shot and he gets others involved. I have to give him a lot of credit – he was a difference maker.”