The Brunswick Lady Pirates came into Richmond Hill and shocked the Lady Wildcats by a final score of 52-48. While the score remained close for much of the game, the Lady Wildcats were never able to grab the lead and hold it for long.
“You know, they are a good, quality team,” head coach Sara Jones said. “They are super athletic. They have really good guards that move the ball and shoot well. Their post players do great down low.”
While the first period score remained tight with Brunswick ahead 12-11, the speed and the quickness of those guards were making an early difference, causing the Lady Wildcats to not get any consistency, offensively or defensively.
“It felt like a yo-yo”, Jones said. “We were up and down but never could gain any real momentum.” Mmekom Inyang finished the first with 6 points, Jada Brown added 3 and Cullen McCormick had 2.
With senior captain MaKiyah Matthews sidelined for much of the first half with what appeared to be a leg issue, the Lady Wildcats would turn to some of the depth to pick up the slack. However, Matthews would come in near the half and grab two steals before hitting a 3-pointer with 2.8 left.
Brunswick would take a 25-23 lead to the half. McCormick and Inyang would have 4 apiece in the period, with Matthews’ added 3 and Ariyana Canady had 1.
After the break, the Lady Pirates would come out firing on all cylinders, with their most points scored in a period, with 15. The Lady Wildcats would find an answer late in the period to slow down the scoring, but not early enough to see Brunswick stretch their lead to 40-35.
That answer was via sophomore Emari Brown. “Emari is really long and lanky,” Jones said. “Her reach is very long and it causes issues for opponents with getting around her. She is just able to sit and get after it defensively and that helped us down the stretch.”
Matthews would completely take over the third period, scoring 8 of the team’s points in the period. Inyang would add 4 points, capping her evening with 14 total points, and tying Matthews.
While the fourth period would end in the favor of Brunswick, it was not without excitement, as the Lady Wildcats would get within two points several times and even tied the game temporarily, including a clutch 3-pointer by Matthews with three minutes to go in the game. Lexanna Oge would finish with 4 in the period, Matthews had 3, while McCormick and E. Brown would add 2 apiece.
With their first loss of the season coming against Statesboro on the road, the Lady Wildcats will soon play them at home. “We are going to have to play individual defense against them,” Jones said. “The last time we did not do very well with that and we did not get anything from the help side. We have to correct those little things in the next couple of days in practice.”
While the loss was not the result Richmond Hill wanted, there were some positives in the game. “I thought we fought hard,” Jones said. “From start to finish, we fought very hard and I feel like we did not get down on ourselves and give up. I am pleased with that.”
The Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats (5-2) will host the Statesboro Lady Blue Devils (4-1) tonight, December 8 at 6pm.