Sometimes a team just has one of those nights when nothing goes right. Having such a night when playing your region opener is a bad time to do it.
Actually, for Richmond Hill’s boys it wasn’t so much a bad night as it was a bad half. A very bad half.
It came against Valdosta last Friday night in a Region 1-7A game that saw the visiting Wildcats take advantage of every Richmond Hill mistake to take a 34-8 halftime lead and then hang on for a 56-35 win.
While obviously not happy about losing Coach Bill Henderson was not dismayed at the end of the evening as he said his team played a good second half and then followed up with a strong performance the next night to beat Colquitt County, 46-29.
“I told them after the game it was a learning experience, that we have to weather those storms,” Henderson said. “There was never a point on Friday as bad as things got that the effort wasn’t there. We took some positive from it.
“It’s not a helicopter ride to the top. It’s a grind.”
Henderson is hoping the win over the Packers will give the Wildcats (6-10, 1-1) some momentum going into Friday night’s home game with Lowndes County (9-8, 0-0) which will be followed with a home game against Camden County (9-7, 2-0) next Tuesday night.
Lowndes will be coming off an impressive 68-41 win over Houston County (10-4) while Camden is the hottest team in the region with seven wins in its last eight games following last Saturday’s 54-47 win over Valdosta.
“It was a nice bounce back win,” said Henderson of the win over Colquitt. “Valdosta was a real physical, aggressive team and we didn’t handle it well.
“We missed some easy shots, some foul shots and then it snowballed,” Henderson said. “The biggest thing was in the second half we settled down. We got it down to 19 but then some turnovers let them push it back to 22.”
The Wildcats trailed 11-6 following an Andre Brown basket with 3:21 left in the first quarter. That was their last basket of the half as they missed their next 13 shots while committing 14 turnovers in that 11-minute stretch.
The turnaround in the second game was a microcosm of Richmond Hill’s season which can be expected with a roster which features only one senior. The Wildcats are yet to put together back-to-back wins.
Henderson is currently starting juniors Bryce Hendricks and AJ Bynum along with sophomores Ahkee Mack, Andrew Brown and Derrick Lum who, at 6-foot-4, is the tallest of the group.