Fourth-quarter struggles hurt Richmond Hill on Tuesday as the Wildcats fell to powerhouse Liberty County 45-41 at RHHS.
Richmond Hill (11-7 overall, 4-2 in Region 3-AAAAA) was outscored 13-4 by the Panthers (13-1 overall) in the final period, although the Wildcats still had a chance to pull out the win. Liberty scored off an offensive rebound with just over a minute to play for a two-point lead. RHHS had a good look on a shot in the final 10 seconds, according to head coach Bill Henderson, but missed. The Panthers hit two free throws shortly after.
“I was happy with the effort that the guys displayed last night, even though we didn’t play our best game,” Henderson said. “We were able to go on a run in (the) third quarter by playing well on defense and rebounding. But then in the fourth quarter we gave up too many offensive rebounds, which resulted second chances and too many easy scores for them. On the offensive end, we turned it over a bit in the fourth and didn’t capitalize on our opportunities that we did get at the basket.”
Isaiah Hill had 13 points and two steals for RHHS. Andre Walker had eight points, while Jordan Jones had five rebounds and two steals.
On Friday, defense and rebounding fueled a 16-0 run in the second quarter to lift Richmond Hill to a 62-45 win over Ware County at RHHS.
“We played fairly well overall and were able to extend the lead in the second half,” Henderson said. “We shot the better from the free-throw line (17 of 25), which was one area that we had been struggling.”
Hill had 27 points. Zane McKenzie had 12 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. James was 4 of 4 from the field en route to 11 points and had three steals and three assists. Jones had five rebounds and three steals.
Meanwhile, the Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats will take a two-game winning streak into this weekend’s action.
RHHS (4-13 overall, 1-5 in Region 3-AAAAA) earned a hard-fought 42-36 win over Liberty County on Tuesday. Jamie Bunting led the Lady ’Cats with 15 points. Tiara Gandy added six points, and Caitlin Elkins had three points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Against Ware County on Friday, late heroics by Gandy made the difference in overtime in the Lady Wildcats’ 50-46 win.
With the score tied at 46-all in the extra session, Gandy hit a short jumper to put RHHS up by two. As Ware County brought the ball up the floor, Gandy got a steal and went in for a layup.
On the ensuing Ware County possession, the Gators were called for a lane violation and did not foul us as time expired, Brown said.
Richmond Hill had good defensive intensity at the beginning of the game, RHHS head coach Sarah Brown said, which allowed the home team to take a 10-point lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Ware went on a run, but the Lady Wildcats still led going into the fourth quarter.
Ware County notched a put-back to tie the game with about five seconds left. The Lady Wildcats missed a long 3-pointer attempt at the buzzer.
Bunting led RHHS with 12 points. Gandy added 10 points, and Jazlyn Martin added eight points.
“Right now, we are finding a way to win at the end of the game, which is really important as we continue on with region play,” Brown said. “The key to our last couple of wins has been the defensive intensity that we have started out with, I really think that has helped set the tone of the game.
We have withstood the runs by the other teams and kept our composure and really finished as a team.”
The RHHS teams have a busy schedule coming up. They are at Camden County on Friday and host Coffee on Saturday and Glynn Academy next Tuesday.
The Lady Redskins (10-6 overall, 4-4 in Region 2-AA) dropped their recent games.
Bryan County lost 54-46 to St. Vincent’s on Tuesday in Savannah. Statistics were unavailable at press time.
On Friday, the Lady Redskins lost 55-50 at Vidalia in a battle with an opponent that had lost just once this season going into that game.
“This was another physical game for us,” BCHS head coach Mario Mincey said. “Vidalia has a very good team, but we feel like we can compete with anyone in our region. We made some mental mistakes the last two minutes of the game, and it ended up costing us.”
Julianne Brown had 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals