Winona overcame an early 12-0 deficit, then withstood a late Water Valley rally for a season opening 46-44 boys basketball victory on the road “It was a positive start to the year,” said coach Presley Coleman. “Any time you win the first game it gets you going in the right direction.”
The Tigers led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter before Water Valley cut it to two with 1.7 seconds left. A long Winona inbounds pass from under the Water Valley basket was intercepted at mid-court, but a desperation heave was off target.
Clifford Lee had 13 points and Kaleb Rush 12 for Winona.
“I loved our effort, how we played hard and didn't quit,” Coleman said. “We battled adversity all night falling behind by 12 points. The guys kept their poise the whole night.”
He noted significant improvement from a jamboree a week earlier. “If we can continue to improve we will have a great season.”
Winona dressed only eight players while awaiting the end of the football season.
The Winona girls opened the season with a 55-27 loss to Water Valley. The Lady Tigers trailed 30-22 in the third quarter before Water Valley pulled away for an easy win.
The boys and girls teams played Coffeeville Tuesday and have home games with Nanih Waiya Thursday.