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By Travis Coleman
Both Williston Middle High Varsity teams (boys and girls) had overall successful last weeks, but both couldn’t secure the most important win that they needed to tie for first place in the district. The teams went 2-1, with the boys losing to Hawthorne, and the girls suffering a defeat at the hands of Newberry.
The first game of the week for the boys was Jan. 10 at home against Baldwin High School. The final outcome was a hardfought 55-48 win for the Devils. Senior Guard Reggie Days (#2) was huge for the Devils. He accumulated 28 points, four rebounds and three steals to propel the team almost single handedly to the victory.
Freshman guard Jeremiah James (#1) helped out with a well rounded eight points, three rebounds and seven assists, while senior forward Dylan Murray contributed 10 rebounds to secure the Devils' win.
The second game, played Jan. 12 at Hawthorne, was probably the most important game of the week, but also the most disappointing.
Down by 19 at one point, and 17 going into the third quarter, the Devils still managed to make it a game. The final score was 76-70 in favor of Hawthorne. James led the team with another stellar stat line of 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Senior Forward TJ Pitts (#40) contributed 16 points and eight rebounds as well.
Coach Walker was proud of his team for battling back in the end to make it a game.
“We came out with more energy in the second half, but just ran out of time,” he said.
The game proved that Williston isn’t just a distant second place in the district, but a real contender.
The final game of the week was a designated fan appreciation night Friday, Jan. 13, and the fans didn’t disappoint.
A full house got to watch a thrilling 55-51 win that came down to the final minutes of the game. In the end, the Devils made their free throws to get a nice win over a district rival. James, Days and Murray had 11, 10 and 11 points respectively. James had eight steals, Days three and Murray two steals along with four blocks to help along a great defensive effort.
The girls played the same slate of games as the boys, and their first game of the week against Baldwin was the same result as their male counterparts. It was a huge win, as the final score was 61-10 in favor of the Ladies. Sophomore Guard Niyah Jackson (#10) led with 14 points, while junior forward Kyra Penny (#21) also had 14 to lead the Devils.
Their second game against Hawthorne finished with the same result. A 45-24 win was again led by Jackson who had 17. Senior forward Destinee Brown had eight in the win.
The final game of the week against Newberry was equivalent to the Hawthorne game for the boys; important, but disappointing. The ladies played tough all game, but eventually were defeated by the Panthers by a score of 49-45. Jackson was impressive in the game, as she scored 20 points, but it still wasn't enough for the Devils to steal a win and a tie for first place from the Panthers.
With both teams going 2-1, it brings the boys' record to 12-7 on the year (9-2 in district) and the girls to 12-5 (9-2 in district). The girls and boys played at home Tuesday, Jan. 17, against Union County before the time of this publishing. The girls will then play at Chiefland and at Bronson on back-to-back days Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, while the boys will just play at Bronson Jan 20.