The battle of North versus South took place at Bryan County High gym this past Saturday night as the 3-AAA Richmond Hill Wildcats prowled into Pembroke to take on the Bryan County Redskins in a county rival basketball game. The game ended much the same as November’s season opening game in Richmond Hill with both the boys and girls of Richmond Hill coming away with a victory. This time, the boys’ score was 54-30 and the girls’ score was 54-41.
Before the boys game tipped off, Wildcat Coach William Altman recognized the improvement of the Redskins since their last contest including the addition of several star players who were absent in the beginning of the season due to football injuries.
Both teams got off to slow starts, but Richmond Hill seemed to settle down and get on track first. Bryan County had trouble right from the get-go with missed shots, and they never could get much offensive consistency. The first quarter ended with both teams combining for only 14 total points.
In the second quarter, Richmond Hill ran their offense and put some half court pressure on defense that continued to frustrate Bryan County as the Redskins’ shooting woes continued. The Cats went into halftime with a 31-10 lead and maintained the lead throughout.
Leading the Redskin scorers was Winston Johnson with nine points. Ivey Mutcherson and Justin Harrison each added six points apiece.
Richmond Hill was led in scoring by Darius Postell with 14 points followed by Sean Szad with nine points.
"Defensively, we played really great," Altman said. "We were patient on offense and executed it well, which was the key to us slowly gaining the lead in the early part of the game and we continued to increase that lead throughout the game."
The Lady Cats improved their season record to 4-11 behind the hot shooting hand of sophomore Tyler Carlson, who poured in an impressive 25 points. This was merely a week after she dumped in 29 points in a game against Claxton. After the game, Carlson was quick to recognize that it was not all her doing.
"Everybody stepped up tonight and did what they were supposed to do," Carlson said. "It was our teamwork that helped us win tonight."
The Lady Cats showed consistency in running their offense and providing defensive pressure throughout the contest, but it took them a little while to get their game on track against the Lady Redskins.
"We started out slow," said Lady Cat coach Elizabeth Bennett. "We were a little lethargic from Friday night’s game against South Effingham. Colleen Keller hit some early shots for us and that seemed to get us rolling before Tyler got hot. Our team does seem to follow Tyler’s lead so when her game is off it can be bad, but recently she has been hot so her performance has rallied our team."
The winless Lady Redskins continued to show improvement even though they have yet to notch a ‘W’ in the scorebook. The main thing that has haunted Bryan County is their shooting ability and this night was no exception. Coach Mario Mincey said one thing his young team is certainly not short on is determination and desire and he praised them for it.
"These girls continue to work hard in practice and the freshmen and sophomores that are having to start are gaining valuable experience that is going to help get us where we want to be with this program in the next couple years."
Senior captain Brittany Slater was the leading scorer for Bryan County with 11 points. Samantha Howard and Shantel Jones both added nine points each. Mincey added that an exhausting game against Portal the night prior contributed to the loss.
The night prior to the Richmond Hill games, the Redskins traveled to Portal to take on the powerhouse Panther teams. The Bryan County girls lost 51-35. Ashleigh Simmons led with eight points while Tara Miles and Shantel Jones each added six points.
The Portal boys turned a 15-12 Bryan County first quarter lead into a 90-44 comeback for the Panthers.
Check out the online photo gallery with this story. Photos by Shannon Jarrell.