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Heritage boys fall to Winder

CONYERS -- Winder-Barrow and Heritage were about even through three quarters in Tuesday's basketball game in Conyers. In the final period, the visitors from Barrow County had just enough to pull off the road win.

Zay Hester had 12 of his 18 points in the second half as Winder-Barrow defeated Heritage 51-43 in Region 8-AAAAA play.

Winder snapped a two-game losing streak and moved to 6-8 in league play, while slumping Heritage fell to 3-8.

It was just a 38-36 Winder lead after three and 40-38 a little over a minute into the fourth. But Winder scored the next six points, two coming when Travis Demeritte found Hester for a bucket at the 5:02 mark.

Heritage got as close as three points, thanks to Andre Harris (team-high 11 points), who hit two consecutive baskets, including a 3-pointer to make it a 46-43 game with 2:25 left.

Heritage wouldn't score again. A free throw by Toddric Barnes and four more points from Hester down the stretch sealed the victory.

"It's been the story the past two seasons: Lose another game by eight points," Heritage coach Drew Williams said. "It's real frustrating when it comes down to four, five possessions. You got to give Winder credit; they capitalized on our mistakes, that's how they beat us. We just didn't execute. It was the little stuff, and the little stuff seems to just get us a lot."

Winder had a four-point halftime lead, but stretched that cushion to as many as nine points in the third. Demeritte, who had a great all-around game with 12 points and seven assists, scored or assisted on three field goals, the last of which was an assist on Hester's 3-pointer to make it 35-26 midway through the period.

The Patriots fought back, getting a 3-pointer from both Dave Rowe and Rashad Jones (nine points), part of a 10-2 run that helped the hosts get to within 38-36 through three quarters.

Heritage played solid defense in the opening quarter and led 12-7 early. Winder had just two field goals in the first 11 minutes, one on a steal and layup by Demeritte and the other a Demeritte-to-Chandon Sullivan hook up for a bucket that pulled the visitors to within 8-6 with 2:23 to play.

At the 3:18 mark of the second, Heritage had capped a 10-4 run to go up 20-11 after a nice step back jumper by Jones. But Winder controlled the remainder of the half.

The Bulldoggs scored the next 13 points, thanks in large part to Demeritte, who had a pair of baskets and assisted on two others, and Winder took the lead for good and went into the locker room up 24-20.

Heritage plays a make-up game against Gainesville tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Hall County. The Patriots return to the Conyers area to play rival Salem on Friday.