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Richmond Hill splits 'Wildcat' battle with Camden
Justus Quiller
Justus Quiller lays the ball up against Camden County - photo by Gerald Thomas III

RICHMOND HILL

GIRLS

The Richmond Hill Lady Cats (4-0) kept their perfect start alive, outlasting Camden County (1-3) 35-33 in a down to the wire victory.

Richmond Hill got off to a slow start at the beginning of the game, allowing Camden to have an 8-1 lead before they could register a bucket.

Turnovers were the issue.

But before the first eight minutes came to an end, Zoraya Thornton got an inbound pass from Jessica Meyer to beat the buzzer and give Richmond Hill their first field goal as time expired.

“We just weren’t executing offensively,” Richmond Hill Head Coach Sarah Jones said. “They were flying at us and speeding us up and I felt like if we would’ve executed offensively like we did towards the end of the second quarter, we would’ve been more successful. We were trying to dribble through traffic and make some passes where they got a hand on it, and it would throw us out of our offense.”

The second quarter saw an entirely different Richmond Hill team as they went on a 16-6 run behind Jada Brown and Savannah Gravitt.

Brown scored two important baskets to begin the second quarter, converting an and-one and then tying up the ballgame at 8 with a midrange jumpshot for the first of her 10 points.

Camden got the lead back briefly, but Richmond Hill tied it back up after a Gravitt inside score.

Camden would get the lead back once more with a 1:26 left in the first half but Richmond Hill got it back as Gravitt hit a corner three with 51 seconds left in the second and Brionna Sutton following her with a score before the half.

“We just made better decisions,” Jones said. “I felt like we settled in a little bit more and found that high-low or kickout when we had it in the middle and they collapsed on us.”

Camden got the lead in the third quarter off a score from Tyana Glover.

Before the quarter ended, the teams traded baskets after Virginia Shorts knocked down a drifting three before Brown responded with three the old school way on an and-one.

Coming into the fourth quarter, Kayden Lawrence immediately hit a three for Richmond Hill.

But the game eventually got tied up by Camden’s Taylor Rietveldz with a little over a minute left.

With 20 seconds left in the game, Richmond Hill look to Thornton who got a pass under the basket and made a layup to pull them ahead.

“I didn’t want the pass at first because I didn’t think anything was open for me personally,” Thornton said after making the game winning shot. “But then when I got the ball, I went straight up and thought it was going to go back out, but it went in instead and I saw the crowd get excited. We got the win and it’s a season and a game to learn from.”

Richmond Hill will play again when they host Liberty County on Friday, Dec. 3.

“We didn’t play necessarily our best tonight,” Jones said of the overall performance. “We turned the ball over a lot and missed some boxouts. But we made one extra play. I thought they continued to fight until the last buzzer. Converting when you need to.”

BOYS

The Camden County Wildcats (1-1) had their way with the Richmond Hill Wildcats (1-3) in their 58-41 win.

It started off slow from the beginning, but Richmond Hill stayed within striking distance after the first quarter, being down 17-9.

The second quarter is where everything blew open for Camden, holding Richmond Hill to two points and adding 17 more to their total.

They took a ten-point lead after a Thomas Mott score.

It got extended to 14 after Samaje Parker jammed a one-handed dunk to get a 25-11 advantage.

By the end of the first half Camden had taken a 20-point lead, going into the locker room up 34-11.

Richmond Hill trimmed the lead some in the final two quarters, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference behind Brayden Baker’s 17 and Kaleb Beckwith’s 16.

“We just came out with a lack of energy,” Richmond Hill Head Coach Bill Henderson said. “Anytime you’re playing a good team like Camden County with a lack of energy and discipline at the start then they’re really going to make you pay. They got us on our heels then we didn’t respond very well. Once we got down, it snowballed on us. But there’s some positive you can take. Look at the fourth quarter. There were some things we were able to do. But it got away from us and gave us the chance to reflect on the way we’re doing things right now.”

Losing their last two, Richmond Hill will have Liberty County come to town on Friday, Dec. 3.

“I think the most encouraging thing is that our problems are all things that can be corrected,” Henderson said. “Not being where we supposed to be on defense, not being as physical as we can be. We’re having a real tough time executing on offense. And if we can’t execute on offense, it’s going to be tough for us. We’ll get after it again tomorrow. We got a group of guys that are itching to turn this thing around. I’m optimistic that they’ll come ready to play on Friday.”

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