The Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats put on a clinic in their game at home, as they easily handled their match against Effingham Lady Rebels with a final score of 62-34. Senior captain MaKiyah Matthews led the team in scoring with 20, including three 3-pointers made.
From the opening tip-off, you could immediately tell that Richmond Hill would have a special night. “We had two really good practices between these last two games,” head coach Sarah Jones said.
“I would have to say that those were two of our best practices all year. We worked on playing individual defense and taking care of our man, and then we went out and did that for the better part of the game.”
The Lady Wildcats did just that. After going on a quick 6-0 run just over a minute into the game, they would only surrender 5 points in the period, as they were up 22-5 at the end of the first. Matthews would have 8 points, with 6 of them coming off of two 3-pointers, Lexanna Oge had 6 points, Mmekom Inyang added 4, and Jada Brown and Emari Brown would add 2 each in the first.
As the second period started, not much changed for the Lady Wildcats, as they seemingly did not take their foot off the gas, outscoring the Lady Rebels 20-7 in the period, while allowing several of the reserves to get some critical time in the game, as they went into the break with a commanding 42-12 lead. E. Brown would have 5 in the period, Matthews and Z. Bernard added 4, Inyang had 3 and J. Brown and Oge had 2.
“The preparation in the last two days helped us tremendously,” Jones said. “We did not have any film on these guys, so we just went to work on us. We made sure to do the little things. Finish under the basket. Play good defense. Just working on what we needed to be better, and everything went well overall.”
After the break, the pace for the Lady Wildcats seemed to slow down a bit. A few key turnovers were made and several plays were missed, resulting in the Lady Rebels to narrow the gap some, only being outscored 13-10 after the third period, to extend the lead to 55-22. Matthews had 5, Inyang had 4, and J. Brown and Oge had 2.
The fourth period would be dominated by Effingham, as they outscored Richmond Hill 12-7, with most of the points being against the reserves for the Lady Wildcats. Z. Bernard had 4 points and Matthews hit her final 3-pointer of the evening.
“It was important to get some of those reserves in there,” Jones said. “We want to try and get them in there as often as we can. We obviously do not want anyone getting hurt, but if that happened, we would want to feel confident in the reserve players, and also for them to have confidence in themselves. We also have to get them ready for when these seniors leave.”
With games on back to back days, the Lady Wildcats will not have much time to prepare for their next opponent, but that is not holding them back. “I feel good as we head into that game,” Jones said. We just have to focus on what we do. We will get in here in the morning and start talking about it and getting ourselves ready to go on the road and take care of business.”
The Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats (3-1) will travel to Hilton Head Island High School (2-2) to take on the Lady Seahawks. Tip-off is at 4pm.