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Looking ahead
RHHS basketball teams look to build on this season
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Both the Richmond Hill boys and girls ended their basketball season at the region 3-AAA tournament in Waynesboro this week.
Both fell short of advancing as they had hoped to, but both teams have made important strides this season and Richmond Hill basketball fans have much to be appreciative for.
The boys lost to Cross Creek while the girls fell to Harlem.
The boys season ended as a good many of their games did - with them battling to the very end.
Richmond Hill was tied 27-27 at the half with the Razorbacks and lost the game in the fourth period when Cross Creek outscored them from the free throw line. Chakiris Moss led all scorers with 17 points.
First year head coaches William Altman and Elizabeth Bennett may have seen there teams come up short on the scoreboard a few more times than they would have liked but Richmond Hill fans have seen both teams taking steps in the right direction.
For Altman, he took over a team that had won just twice in two seasons but his defense-minded philosophy immediately saw results as the Wildcats started keeping games in the 40s rather than in the 80s, as had become common the past couple of years. The result was Richmond Hill started staying competitive through most of their contests and the 8-18 Cats probably could have won a few more of the closely contested battles.
Although the Wildcats are saying good-byes now to seniors Sean Szad, Darius Postell and Xavier Owens, they do have a good nucleus returning next year including the teams leading scorer, Chakiris Moss - so look for Richmond Hill to make further gains next season.
For Bennett a team disparaged by graduation and last seasons starting center moving away left her with one returning underclassman, Tyler Carlson and her senior guard Colleen Keller, that had significant playing time last season, and a true rebuilding scenario to cope with.
As a result. Richmond Hill fans watched her team struggle a bit as they tried different defensive and offensive schemes, played a variety of girls off the bench searching for a winning combination, but in the end started seeing some of those players making contributions.
It wasn’t long before opponents figured out that defending Richmond Hill’s talented Tyler Carlson was a strategy that worked, so Bennett had to rely on Jade Crosby, Courtney Myers, Shakeena Dunham, Dajah Davis, Gina Anderson and Janelle McKinney to take up the slack.
While that strategy didn’t result in a lot of wins, it did give her team some significant experience that she can now take in to next season.
Richmond Hill also started seeing a return to a good student fan base that they have enjoyed in seasons past, another trend both coaches hope to see continue in the future as well.
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