Although the Richmond Hill boys finished the season as they started it, with another two losses in the final week, two of many that have piled up this season, throughout they have played hard, held their heads high, and respected each other as a team. On Saturday night against Jenkins, senior night, they respected those players who will be moving on.
Tuesday night’s showing at the region tournament in Augusta saw much of the same. They were eliminated in the first round with a 73-42 loss to Thomson. Despite a hard fought game, and a powerful showing from Chakiris Moss (16 points), this proved to be the last stop for the boys.
Before the start of the boys game, boys and ladies basketball players along with the senior cheerleaders were honored in front of their home crowd, being their last time on the Wildcat gym in uniform. All of them received individual tributes and a richly deserved round of applause from their appreciative fans.
At the start of the game against Jenkins, Coach Morris went with an all senior line up.
Melvin Johnson, Brandon Harvey, Javarus McKenney, Darien Cothern, and Robbie Bynum took the floor at the start of their last game at home. Johnson and Cothern being the only regular starters didn’t deter coach Morris from giving as much playing time as possible to the rest. Indeed, the entire bench was used throughout the course of the game.
Take away a pair of hot hands for Jenkins, and the game might have started a little differently. The Warriors guard, John Osborne (23 points) nailed five three point shots in a row - all from the same spot on the right side of the court. His next attempt came from the top of the key, and he missed the mark.
The Warriors' Kenneth Rouche sank 8 of his 10 points in that same first period to help jump start the Warriors over the Wildcats zone defense as well. The period ended with Jenkins up 29-8, but Morris switched to a man defense the rest of the game and the pair of talented Jenkins players were held to a combined eight points the rest of the game.
In that second period, Chakiris Moss entered the game and had an immediate impact. The sophomore point guard started attacking the Jenkins defense and scored 7 of his team high 10 points in the period, 5 of 7 from the charity stripe.
While the Cats improved the defense against the starting five, Jenkins showed they have a much deeper bench and had 13 different players light the scoreboard throughout out the 89-40 game.
Last Tuesday in Portal, the Wildcats fell 73-29 but got off to a much better start against a talented Panther team. Darien Cothern scored 4 of his 8, and Bobby McGrath 4 of his 9 points in the first period. On the other end of the court Richmond Hill was frustrating the Panthers and held them to just 4 points. None of the Portal starters had yet scored. That would change quickly in the second.
Like a light switch, the Portal five started connecting. Fred Williams scored 10 of his game high 24 points in the period, while the other three starters combined for 18 points in the period. What had looked promising for the Wildcats in the first had quickly turned around by halftime as the Panthers went to the locker room with a 33-17 lead.
Richmond Hill was not having much luck with breaking through the Panthers trapping defense in the third and, as the Wildcat turn overs piled up, the Panthers lead increased. Still, as they have done all season, they played four hard fought quarters of basketball and never showed any sign of giving up.
Richmond Hill finished the regular season with a 1-24 record, their only win coming against Bryan County.