Not to be outdone by the ladies, Richmond Hill’s boys followed up the girls opening night win with their own big second half outburst over Bryan County, to cruise to a 61-42 win. Similarly it was new head coach William Altman’s first win as a Wildcat, and first win as a varsity basketball head coach.
In spite of some foul trouble that kept the new coach's starting five on the bench for much of the second period, the Wildcats managed to turn up the heat in the second half to pull away from the scrappy Redskins.
Chakiris Moss scored 13 of his team high 15 points in the second half for the Wildcats to help offset a game high scoring performance by Bryan County’s Winston Johnson with 25 points.
Playing a full court, pressing man defense the entire game, Richmond Hill was racking up the turnovers in the first period. Robbie Bynum converted three inbound steals to six of his nine points in the period, but with the fast start came the fouls and the Redskins were shooting bonus fouls before the first period ended.
Nearly half of Johnson’s output came from the charity stripe for Bryan County. His six straight free throws in the opening period kept his team afloat while Richmond Hill was reeking havoc on defense. The Redskins only trailed by 10 points at the start of the second period and, with Richmond Hill substituting, liberally closed the gap to seven points by the close of the half. That six point period for the Wildcats is what concerned coach Altman the most afterward.
"We still have a long way to go in correcting little mistakes, mental mistakes...we have to play four quarters of basketball not three." said Altman after the game. During their recent practice game win at Toombs County they saw a 17 point halftime lead disappear as they hung on to win by six. About all the fouls; the new head coach explained that they are not deep enough to keep going to the bench with two freshman playing up already - they are an eight deep team. It was the starting five that turned things around for him in the second half.
While Johnson continued to score for the Redskins, no one else seemed to be able to. Richmond Hill held Bryan County to just nine points in the period while the Wildcats started spreading the ball around and five different players helped build a 44-29 advantage. Moss’ two three pointers in the period were especially devastating for the Redskins and the Wildcat guard started showing that he didn’t forget his jump shot over the off season.
Moss made three more shots in the fourth to help nail it down and Sean Szad finished his 12 point night by dropping in four straight free throws.
Both teams will get another week to work on their games before resuming their schedules.
Bryan County will host Toombs County on Nov. 30 with a 6:30 p.m. start while Richmond Hill will travel to Hephzibah the same day for an early region 3-AAA sub-region game. Game time 6 p.m.