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WCCA basketball: Rams finish strong, best in district

PORT GIBSON — The Wilkinson County Christian Academy boys basketball team proved that it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

The Rams topped Chamberlain-Hunt Academy 60-39 Thursday night to cap off an impressive district run. WCCA overcame a rough 1-8 start to the season and finished with a 7-1 record in district, with its only loss coming to Chamberlain-Hunt early in the season.

“It’s been a battle all year long,” head coach David Wright said. “The team just stuck together. Most teams just fold up when you lose so many games early in the season.”

Dra Tolliver led the Rams with a double-double, tallying 18 rebounds and 11 rebounds. He also dished out five assists. Austin Goodfellow added 16 points for the Rams, which led Chamberlain-Hunt 34-18 at the half and 47-29 at the end of three.

Chamberlain-Hunt’s Levi Howse scored 13 points, and Tevin Harris finished with 11 points. WCCA outscored Chamberlain-Hunt in each of the four quarters, something Wright said was a goal going into the game.

“We won every quarter,” Wright said. “We played every kid, and we were able to come away with a nice victory.”

Wright said a short adjustment period from the end of football season to the beginning of basketball season was tough to overcome initially. WCCA competed for a state championship in football well into November, then had to turn around and start basketball almost as soon as football ended.

“We had to install a lot in a short amount of time,” Wright said. “At one point, we had four practices and four games. Every basketball player played football except for one kid. There was no break or rest period, because we had to get to work the following Monday after the state championship.”

But Wright, who also coaches football at WCCA, said he wasn’t going to complain about his team’s success on the gridiron.

“I love that challenge, and I’ll take it every year,” Wright said. “When you win in football, you want it to continue (into basketball), because the kids love the feeling.”

The Rams (7-11 overall) will face either Tensas Academy or Chamberlain-Hunt in the district tournament Feb. 7 at Tallulah Academy.