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Andrew Jackson Academy Boys, Girls Sweep Visiting Richard Winn Tuesday Night

Andrew Jackson Academy Boys, Girls Sweep Visiting Richard Winn Tuesday Night

By Billy G. Baker


Ehrhardt---With four players scoring in double figures Andrew Jackson Academy improved to 14-1 on the season Tuesday night with a 70-62 win over visiting Richard Winn Academy (11-5).

James Mingo and Mikey Templeton led AJA scorers with 20 points each and Jonathan Schaffer contributed 16 points and Chandler Hayden had 11 points along with several steals and assists.

AJA built a 14-0 lead late in the first period before Dennis Boyd of Richard Winn was fouled making a three-point shot and he then made his free throw to account for a rare four-point play with mere seconds left in the opening period. Boyd went on to lead Richard Winn with 18 points. Dru Caldwell contributed 15 and Jimmy McKeeon had 13 points for Richard Winn.

After AJA led 16-4 after the opening period Richard Winn played AJA on even terms the rest of the game as they outscored the Confederates 19-12 in the second period to trail 28-23 at the half.

In the third period AJA out-scored Richard Winn 20-12 take a 48- 35 lead into the final period. With AJA leading 55-42 with around 4:45 left in the game Templeton made a put-back lay-up and then hit a three-point shot on the next possession down the floor to extend AJA’s lead to 60-43 with 3:41 left in the game. AJA will play at Wardlaw Academy Friday, Patrick Henry on Saturday before hosting Clarendon Hall this coming Tuesday night in a region showdown game between two of the best teams in Class A SCISA this season.

The AJA boys made 21 of 42 shots from the field and they also converted 13 of 18 free throws. Templeton and Schaffer had 11 rebounds each and Hayden led the team with five assists.

AJA head coach Josh Barnes said he made some half time adjustments that worked out well for his team. “We made some defensive adjustments in the third quarter and we substituted our first five a little less in the second half after they had made a good run at us in the second period,” said Coach Barnes. “We don’t get to play those guys much and we identified a couple of their good outside shooters by half-time and we made it a point to defense them a little better.

“We are trying to teach our team how to play in space and push it and go compared to running a lot of set plays,” said Coach Barnes.  “We have five or six guys who are very athletic, and they know how to make plays in space and sometimes you just have to let them go the game. We are pleased to be 14-1 and this is the best record to date we’ve had since I have been coaching the past 9 seasons.”

Coach Barnes said he will continue to play 10 guys a game because they can all play, and they deserve the opportunity. Coach Barnes called Hayden a complete basketball player who can score in double figures while also getting five or six assists a game. “Opposing teams have to account for Chandler and where he is and he is very under rated player,” said Barnes. “Mingo is having a great season and he can play inside or outside, and Schaffer and Templeton do a good job scoring and rebounding for us. Our goal is to keep working hard and this team has great potential to there at the end.”  

Nick Chaisson, a retired Army veteran, is the head coach of Richard Winn and he said after the game that his team works very hard and they prepare well for each game. “Even though we took that right hook to start the game and got down 14-0 I knew our players would come back and make it a very competitive game,” said Coach Chaisson. “You never want to be out-worked or out-hustled by your opponent and I told the team during a time-out in the second quarter felt to just settle down, that it was a long game, and that we could get back in it with our quickness and outside shooting. They scored 36 point from the three-point line and that is very unusual.”

Coach Chaisson said his team has played a very competitive schedule against the likes of public schools White Knoll, Wilson, and Fox Creek. “Last year when we lost in the state semi-finals, we were not ready for that speed and we came into this season wanting to prepare our team better, so we scheduled a lot of tough teams early and it has paid off,” said Coach Chaisson.  “It’s hard to teach hard work and things like offensive rebounding and I felt like our team rebounding well on the offensive boards tonight.”

In girls action AJA head coach Julie Sease was coaching against her alma mater and she seemed to be coaching and playing the game at the same time as she coached standing up most of the game. Her team won their fourth game of the season 58-39 over Richard Winn in what was probably their best effort of the season.

Laney Stanfield led AJA with 20 points. Brinna Templeton had 12 points and Hannah Scharber was third in scoring with 8 points.  

Richard Winn was led by Meredith Melton with 11 points and Meredith Pope with 8 points.

“This was a great win against my former coach (Sam Copeland), and the school I graduated from, so my girls have been working hard preparing for this game and we really wanted to have a victory tonight,” said Coach Sease. “This win felt good. We have a young team with one senior and two juniors. We hope we can continue playing the rest of the season like we played tonight.”

Kaylee Carter and Avery Peek are quick guards and good ball handlers starting along with Stanfield, Templeton, and Scharber.

“If we can just keep our heads on and continue to work hard, I feel like we can make a good run in the playoffs,” said Coach Sease. “We have made steady improvement and we have grown a lot as a team, and everyone is learning how to work together better as a team. We have finally improved our free throw shooting which is a big deal in the game. We are just excited to have won this game tonight and we hope our good all-around play continues.”   

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