Stratford head coach Jamie Dickey didnt need to bring up last years first-round tournament result very often.
Hed use it as a motivation during a bad practice but didnt bring it up much leading up to Thursdays GISA Class AAA first-round matchup against Community Christian.
They all remembered what happened, Dickey said of the loss to Westminster-Augusta last year. I talked about it very little. Community Christian was a nice test for us, so we were focused on them.
The Eagles used a strong second-quarter run Thursday to provide ample breathing room on the way to a 67-53 victory.
Jonathan Hefner scored 17 to lead Stratford, while D.J. Boyd and OShowen Williams added 16 and 13 points, respectively. Stratfords leading scorer, Quintez Cephus, didnt dress out for the game and was a healthy scratch. Alicah Hodge led the Knights with 19 points.
Stratford will play Deerfield-Windsor in a matchup of tournament favorites in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Tattnall Square.
I told them it didnt matter when we are playing, where we are playing or who we are playing, Dickey said. When youre one win away from Mercer (site of the GISA Final Four), then you better be ready to go.
The Eagles trailed in both the first and second quarters against Community Christian before closing the second quarter on a 15-0 run. Hefner scored seven of his 17 during the run and Boyd pitched in four points. The Knights missed nine straight shots from the floor during the run.
Stratford stayed in control for much of the third quarter, never letting the Knights get closer than 11. Community Christian would pull within nine points early in the fourth quarter but were outscored 17-12 the rest of the way.