Powerhouse Effingham County put visiting Richmond Hill into a 15-point hole early Tuesday night and, try as they might, the Wildcats were unable to recover, falling 69-59 in Springfield in a key Region 3-AAAAA matchup.
The loss dropped RHHS to 6-4 in the region and 13-9 overall. The Rebels improved to 11-0 in 3-AAAAA and 19-3 overall.
“We didn’t play very well in the first quarter, and that put us in a tough spot for the rest of the game,” RHHS coach Bill Henderson said. “We were very careless with the basketball and forced some shots on the offensive end instead of being patient and executing our offense.”
Sparked by a 30-point performance from standout guard Isaiah Hill, the Wildcats outscored ECHS 48-43 over the final three periods. Trey Deloach was the only other RHHS player in double figures with 10 points.
“We were able to settle down after the first quarter and eventually cut their lead to 3, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize and come out on top,” Henderson noted. We had our chances, but we turned the ball over too many times to be successful against a good team like Effingham County.”
Effingham outscored the Wildcats 26-11 in the first quarter. The Rebels, ranked No. 10 in the state by ScoreAtlanta among Class AAAAA teams, hit 10 3-pointers, with senior Rashad Griffin and junior Jaden Rodriguez each connecting on three.
Griffin led the Rebels with 15 points, while Rodriguez, PJ Brown and Deshaun Wilkenson had 11 points each.
The Wildcats host Bradwell Institute on Friday night at 8 p.m. and will travel to South Effingham on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. The regular season ends Feb. 5 at home with Statesboro.