The Richmond Hill girls traveled to Saint Vincent’s Academy on Friday to take on a team that had beaten them rather handily earlier on their home court. Not only were they faced with a hostile crowd in a small and loud gym, they were also hampered with their best player injured and playing less than 100 percent. The result was still a narrow 42-38 loss. With Tyler Carlson still suffering from an injury - a hard foul on a drive to the basket last weekend - the team's loss may have produced a positive result. According to head coach Elizabeth Bennett it forced a few of her other players to step up.
Kourtney Myers led all scorers with 13 points and Dajah Davis added 12 as the Lady Wildcats came back from a thirteen point deficit at one point but saw their fourth period run at the Lady Saints fall just short.
"I’m proud of our effort," said Bennett on her team's performance against Saint Vincent’s. "Tyler is still playing a little tentative because of the injury, but it was good to have Myers and Davis take up the slack."
On Saturday, Carlson started as though she were back to form and Richmond Hill looked like it may pick up its first region win against Burke County, but faded after a good start and dropped the contest 57-45.
Carlson broke out in the first period at home and scored seven of her game high 13 points in the period. Davis added her own four points and the Lady Wildcat defense was handling the Lady Bear full court pressure as Burke County was racking up the fouls.
In the second period, Richmond Hill made 11 of 21 free throws to help balance the Bears outside shooting including two three pointers by Burke County’s Shalisa Jenkins, who finished with 12 points. Richmond Hill was down only by two points at the half but, in the third, Carlson went to the bench early after picking up her fourth foul.
That was the break the Lady Bears needed and they started slowly pulling away and held off a late comeback try by the Lady Wildcats.
The result of the boys game to follow, a 50-60 loss to Burke, would be determined more by shear size than anything else. From the first basket, an alley-oop dunk by the Bears point leader Maurice Doyle this game would be defined by the Bears' physical superiority over the much smaller Wildcats. Darius Postell led all scorers with 13 points and, while the Richmond Hill guard was probably the shortest man on the court, he took his game to the Bear front court.
Postell drove the lane successfully against the Bear post men twice in the first period and on two other drives went to the line because of the strategy. His six first period points helped keep Richmond Hill close. Richmond Hill’s leading scorer, Chakiris Moss left the game with an injury in the second and Richmond Hill would try to keep pace from the foul line.
The Wildcats shot 12 of 18 free throw attempts in the period to stay within reach of the Bears, 36-27 at the half, but a meager seven point third period allowed Burke County to build on the lead enough to hold back a fourth period comeback try by the Wildcats. On Friday, poor shooting would also be a factor.
Richmond Hill traveled to Benedictine where they should have matched up better against the Cadets only to lose 35-48. While Moss had a game high 17 points, Richmond Hill sent the Cadets to the charity stripe a whopping 37 times in the game.
Benedictine took advantage by shooting 8 of 11 free throws in the second period to jump to a 24-13 halftime lead. In the fourth period the Cadets shot 14 of 21 free throws and survived the period without the benefit of a field goal.
Both Richmond Hill teams will be challenged when two very talented Hephzibah teams come to town Friday night for their region 3-AAA finale, a 6 p.m. ladies start. They will host Portal on Tuesday Feb. 5, another 6 p.m. start.