W-S Prep continues to roll through state playoffs

W-S Prep continues to roll through state playoffs
March 01
12:21 2018

Phoenix riding 22 game winning streak, Gould tops 300 wins

The Phoenix of Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy are rolling through the state playoffs.

Head coach Andre Gould seemed to have the team rolling on all cylinders following their first round bye, routing the Granite Bears 95-68 to kick off their 2018 playoff run on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Heading into the match-up the Phoenix were arguably the hottest team in the state, riding a 19-game win streak, including a recent win over Mount Airy in the Northwest 1A Conference Championship on Feb. 16. The Granite Bears earned a fourth meeting with WSPA by defeating Bishop McGuiness 54-51 in the first round.

The two teams also met twice during regular season conference play.

Gould said coming into the fourth match-up with the Granite Bears he told his players to have a win or go home attitude and that’s exactly how the team played. From the tip until the final buzzer WSPA played with energy on both sides of the ball that Mount Airy just couldn’t match.

“You shouldn’t have to motivate at this point in the season,” Gould said when discussing his team’s effort. “…You either win or you go home. We had to come out and play.”

Junior guard Chaz Gwyn got the offense going for WSPA when he knocked down two quick three-pointers to open a 6-0 lead. Behind some sharp shooting from senior Caleb Arrington, and hustle plays from junior Donovan Green, the Granite Bears were able to fight back to end the quarter but never managed to take the lead.

Daivien Williamson, Zack Austin, Corey Rutherford, and Justice Goodloe had stellar showings for the Phoenix as well. Along with advancing in the playoffs, and pushing their current streak to 20, the win also marked a milestone for Coach Gould as well.

The win marked his 301st as the head coach at WSPA.

Gould took the reins of the boy’s basketball program at WSPA when the school first opened in 2006, and has built a dynasty. Since the 2006 season, WSPA has appeared in six state championships and brought the title back four times, including back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014.

After the game Gould thanked everyone who ever gave him an opportunity to and hundreds of players he has coached and mentored over the years. He said, “I’m proud that they gave me an opportunity and saw something in me and gave me a chance to prove them right.”

Before becoming the head coach at WSPA, Gould served as an assistant at Reynolds High School where he learned the game from coaches like John Allen, Howard West, and others.

“I always had confidence in myself but just the fact that they had enough confidence in me to give me a chance really means a lot,” Gould continued. “And I couldn’t have done it without the players. I’m proud of all of them whether they played basketball or not. I’m proud of my assistant coaches I’m proud of everybody that help make this possible.”

The Phoenix didn’t have long to bask in the glory of their 20 game win streak. WSPA was back in action on Saturday; Feb. 24 when they took on another conference foe, South Stokes.

In that match-up the Phoenix defeated the Suaras 71-60, WSPA’s third win over South Stokes this season.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27 in the quarterfinal match-up against the North Stanly Comets, the Phoenix pushed their winning streak to 22 earning the 78-67 victory. Although the Comets threatened throughout the contest the Phoenix led the entire game.

The Phoenix will take on defending State Champion Lincoln Charter on Saturday, March 3 for a chance to play for the 2018 NCHSAA 1A Championship. Last year Lincoln Charter defeated WSPA 75-65 in the third round of the playoffs.

The game is scheduled for tip-off at 5pm inside Fleming Gymnasium on the campus of UNC Greensboro.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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