By Rick Conrad For the Pharos-Tribune
---- — FRANCESVILLE — After seeing improvement in the defense the previous night the Winamac Warriors took a step backwards in the championship game of the annual Winter Classic Saturday night. Looking lethargic after the opening tip the Warriors overcame their problems in going on to win their fourth straight classic by downing the Argos Dragons 49-45 at West Central.
Looking as if they were a step behind Winamac (2-3) struggled to get things going in the championship game. Fortunately for the Warriors, Argos too had troubles getting going but still had a 12-7 lead after the first quarter.
When play resumed in the second quarter it was Parker Fox, tourney MVP, that stepped up his game to get the Warriors rolling. Behind Fox’s inspired play the other Warriors fell in behind and by the half Winamac had taken a 22-18 lead they would not relinquish.
In the third quarter sophomore Colin McGee took the reins for the Warriors and went through a stretch where Argos had no answer for him. Behind McGee and Winamac’s stubborn defense the Warriors opened up a 29-21 heading into the final quarter of play.
By the 6:40 mark of the fourth Argos had trimmed the Winamac lead to just six. On the Warriors next possession though Levi Schultz found himself open in the corner and nailed one from long to bump the lead back up to nine. A free throw by McGee at 6:10 made it a 10 point game at 35-25, and then things got interesting. First McGee fouled out at 3:21 and then Dalton Button fouls out at :56 with Winamac up 44-40. Argos cut it to just two points at 47-45 before Jeremy Bentle was fouled with :07. Bentle nailed both freebies to make it the 49-45 final.
McGee led the Winamac attack with 13 points in the game. Fox added 12.
“I thought we got the team chemistry going tonight and I’m really glad we won the championship. We did it as a team and I’m excited for the seniors that we have,” said McGee.
“We’re growing as a team and starting to establish ourselves in some areas,” Winamac coach Kyle Johnson said. “We still have work to do though. We had a couple seniors that really gave us some good minutes tonight. Bentle really gave us some quality time and then at the end of the game we had the three seniors on the floor at the same time and that was nice to see. I’m excited to for these guys tonight.”