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By Yelena Serrato/FHS Corresponden—
FLOYDADA – The Floydada Whirlwinds continue their reign of victory with two big wins over Sudan and Stratford.
Floydada defeated Sudan Tuesday night, Feb. 25 at Lubbock Monterey with a final score of 75-41 to claim the Bi-District title. Garrett Hobbs led the team in scoring with 29 points followed by LaMychal Henderson with nine. Quincy Gonzales, Kaleb Crone and Andrez Suarez each contributed seven to capture yet another gold ball of the season.
However, that was not the only gold ball Floydada received last week. The Whirlwinds traveled to Canyon on Friday, Feb. 27 to face the Elks of Stratford for the Area championship title.
The Whirlwinds came out on top in a nail-biting game with a score of 64-63. Senior Garrett Hobbs checked out of the game at 3:25 on the clock in the opening frame with an injury. Hobbs who has played a big role all season never returned to the floor against the Elks.
Stratford lead in the beginning of the first quarter 9-4 before Hobbs injury, but that did not stop the Whirlwinds from fighting back. The Whirlwinds went on a 19-0 run including a crowd-pleasing dunk from Desmond Wickware which put
Floydada in the lead in the second quarter at 25-12. The Elks were able to withstand the onslaught and only trailed to 33-30 at the half.
“Family is what we stand for,” said Coach Adam Zepeda. “Being as close as a family has really kept us together. We’ve got each other’s back through thick and thin.”
With the season on the line, Floydada refused to surrender to Stratford and fought till the very last second of the game. Returning from the half the Elks were able to tie the game at 46 to enter the final quarter of the game. Wickware later drilled a 3 to make it a 58-53 cushion, which was extended to eight points after Marcus Perez sank a jumper and Henderson hit a pair of free throws.
With 3:11 remaining on the clock, Stratford went to the line nine times which marked the end of the game for both Crone and Henderson who fouled out. Luckily, the Elks only made two of those foul shots and drew a foul sending senior Mike DelaFuente to the line with only 16:1 left on the clock. DelaFuente, who stepped up after Henderson checked out the game, sank a key free throw giving Floydada a three-point advantage over Stratford.
A clutch free throw by junior Desmond Wickware put the Winds ahead of the Elks in the final seconds of the game to bring home the gold ball.
“The season has been fun and I am excited to continue advancing,” said Coach Zepeda. “For this Floydada team, they are more than a team, they are family.”
Whirlwind fans have long anticipated this success in the playoffs. These young men are living their dreams and taking advantage of this once in a life time opportunity by playing through the adversity and as a brotherhood. This season has not only brought together the players but has brought in the support of the community who eagerly awaits celebrating more victories alongside the Whirlwinds.
“Moving onto the next round just gets better and better each night,” said junior Quincy Gonzalez “. “Our performance this season has brought life back into our community.”