Head coach Elizabeth Bennett has said all along that this is a rebuilding year for her team and what she hopes for is that they are able to "see growth" throughout the season. Windsor Forest has proved to be a good measuring stick of that growth for Bennett.Early this season Richmond Hill lost to the Lady Knights by 30 points. In the Savannah Holiday Classic the margin of loss had been reduced to 10 points against Windsor Forest. On Saturday night the Lady Wildcats squeaked out a thrilling 40-39 win over their now all too
A much better performance and outcome than their 52-39 region 3-AAA loss at Burke County on Friday. The Lady Bears took advantage of 30 Lady Cat turnovers to break open a close first quarter and prove that they will be a team to be reckoned with come region tournament time. For the Lady Wildcats they need to hope their improvement continues along the lines of their play on Saturday.
Richmond Hill center Jade Crosby redeemed herself for missing a field goal and a pair of free throws in the final seconds of a tie game and sunk one of only two points of the night with less than a second remaining against the Lady Knights to give her team a one point lead and their first win in eight tries. The last possession was set up when Colleen Keller and Tyler Carlson combined to steal the ball near mid court with just 10 seconds remaining and the game tied at 39.
The Richmond Hill guards also led their team in scoring with Carlson putting in 14 points and Keller 11. Ashley Booker led the Lady Knights with ten points but the Lady Knights most dangerous player, Chandveas Carter was held to just five points, thanks to a defensive adjustment.
After seeing the senior guard reek havoc with the ball their first two games Bennett decided to play a box and one defense against the Lady Knights. Richmond Hill’s Janelle McKinney and Kourtney Myers drew the assignment and effectively shadowed Carter all night, not only slowing her scoring but keeping the ball out of her hands too. While the defense was taking care of the Knights, Richmond Hill did a much better job taking care of the ball.
After a thirty turnover night on Friday coach Bennett talked to her team about not forcing the issue on the floor. While she is not sure the message sunk in - her team did manage to cut the turnovers in half - while being more aggressive around the basket, and picking up more fouls than they were committing.
Richmond Hill’s Shakeena Durham, Gina Anderson, Kourtney Myers, and Alena Tyson were being active around the basket and picking up fouls early. While Richmond Hill’s 14 of 27 foul shooting was not great, it reversed the trend of Richmond Hill sending their opponents to the charity stripe more than they were getting opportunities to. The Lady Cats shot 14 of 27 attempts while the Lady Knights only 7 of 14. That was enough to make the difference and it was only appropriate that the winning point would be on a free throw.
Breaking the seven game losing streak was big but Bennett now feels the 3-11 Lady Cats have a chance for a few more as South Effingham visits Friday night at 7 p.m. and they travel to play Bryan County on Saturday.