Winona had its best offensive performance of the season in the MHSAA Region 4-2A tournament opener against Bruce, but a 90-70 loss ended a winless season for the Tigers.
“Best offensive game, but worst defensive game,” said WHS head coach Presley Coleman.
Winona was 27-of-46 from the floor, led by freshman Robert McMath with 26 points and seven steals. He connected on 12-of-16 shots. Senior Taveras Townsend was 9-of-13 from the floor and scored 23 points.
The game was close through the first half, but three Winona starters got into foul trouble before halftime. “I was forced to go to the bench,” Coleman said.
Bruce led 42-36 at the half, then broke the game open outscoring the Tigers 27-16 during the third quarter. “We turned the ball over three straight times and Bruce turned them into baskets,” Coleman said.
Winona cut the deficit to 12 in the fourth quarter, but was unable to get any closer.
Townsend was the team's leading scorer for the season with a 10.3 average. Freshman Sean Merritt led in rebounding with 135 and sophomore Trey Glover was tops in assists with 57.
Looking to the future, the progress shown by the younger players is a reason for optimism, according to Coleman. “I was playing eighth graders and ninth graders. At other schools they are playing JV.
“They were thrown into the fire early. I like the group we have. I feel like the sky is the limit with this group. Everyone individually and the team showed growth from where they were when I got here in June.”