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Wildcats go winless in SCD holiday tournament
Brayden Baker
Brayden Baker handles the ball in game against Savannah Country Day - photo by Gerald Thomas III

SAVANNAH -- A tough season got a little tougher for the Richmond Hill boys this past week when they dropped a pair of games in the annual Showdown in Savannah Tournament hosted by Savannah Country Day.

Typical of young teams – the Wildcats have three seniors and only Brayden Baker had extensive playing time prior to this season—Richmond Hill (4-10, 2-0 Region 2-6A) is improving but still struggling to put together a complete game.

That was the case last Wednesday night in a 71-57 loss to King’s Ridge Christian (12-2), currently ranked No. 7 in the state in Class A Private, and again the following night when the Wildcats suffered through a miserable third quarter in losing to Savannah Country Day, 47-40.

The win by the Hornets was a virtual repeat of their early season 47-46 win over the Wildcats.

The two losses extended Richmond Hill’s losing streak to five straight going into Tuesday night’s game at Statesboro (12-0, 3-0). The Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 7 in the state in Class 6A by the AJC and are the only team outside metro Atlanta in the Top 10.

The game at Statesboro is the seventh in a brutal stretch of 12 straight road games for the Wildcats who will be at Bradwell Institute on Friday. Richmond Hill’s last home game was a Dec. 14 game with Glynn County and its next home game is Jan. 28 against Statesboro.   

Against King’s Ridge the Wildcats were doomed from the outset, falling behind 17-5 in the first seven minutes as the Tigers scored 10 points off turnovers.

Richmond Hill played King’s Ridge basically even the final three quarters but the damage had been done.

It was a similar outcome against Savannah Country Day where the third quarter proved to be the Wildcats’ undoing.          

Richmond Hill trailed 29-28 at the half but then was able to score only three points in the third quarter while the Hornets, who turned it into a half-court game, scored 10 to take control of the game.

“We played better defensively (than against King’s Ridge),” Coach Bill Henderson said. “But we struggled at times on offense and turned the ball over too many times.

“I was happy with the effort we played with,” Henderson said. “Unfortunately, we made a few too many mistakes to beat a well-coached team in SCD.”

Brayden Baker led the Wildcats with 16 points against the Hornets and Kaleb Beckwith scored 10 while Andre Brown added eight.

Richmond Hill trailed King’s Ridge by four points, 35-31, with six minutes left in the third quarter when the Tigers went on a 14-2 run to grab a 47-33 lead.

The Wildcats, who got 22 points from Baker, were still within striking distance at 57-47 but King’s Ridge pushed the lead to 62-47 with 5:51 to play and it was simply too much to overcome.

Justus Quiller added 14 points and Kaleb Beckwith 12 for the Wildcats who have 11 games remaining with the only non-region contest being at Johnson on Jan. 22.

The current Region 2-6A standings:  Statesboro (12-0, 3-0), Richmond Hill (4-10, 2-0), Glynn Academy (11-2, 2-1), Effingham County (7-6, 2-1), Brunswick (5-4, 0-2), Bradwell Institute (4-5, 0-2), South Effingham (2-10, 0-3).

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