The Richmond Hill girls’ basketball team opened the season with a 52-33 win over New Hampstead at home Tuesday night, while the boys’ team lost 44-36 in the nightcap.
The girls’ team led 28-12 at halftime, hitting seven of eight free throws in the last three minutes of the first half. Danika Boyd led the Wildcats with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Javionna McDonald and Jaxson Douglas chipped in eight points each.
"Defensively I felt like we did a pretty good job," coach Sarah Jones said. "We forced a few turnovers with our press and our ball pressure. Pushing each other and working hard in practice to continue to get better defensively is going to be our key this year."
Jones said she was not happy with her team's 29 turnovers, but did like the rebounding effort.
"We have got to do a better job of taking care of the ball," she said. "I was pleased with how we crashed the boards offensively. We finished the night with 22 offensive boards, while getting to the free throw line 34 times."
On the boys’ side, the Wildcats committed 21 turnovers while shooting 24 percent from the field. Richmond Hill was able to pull within three, 34-31, with four minutes left, but the Phoenix hit five free throws in the final 44 seconds to seal the game.
“We really struggled offensively,” coach Bill Henderson said. “There was some opening night rust, but the bottom line is we have to play better.”
Justin Jeffery and Brandon Beckwith led the Wildcats with eight points each.
“I thought we got impatient and tried to do a little too much at times on offense, which led to the turnovers and poor shot selection,” Henderson said. “The good news for us is that those are all areas that we can improve in, and I feel like this group is full of hardworking guys that are going to push each other every day to be the best that they can be.”
Both Wildcat teams play this weekend in the Windsor Forest South Side Classic.