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Wildcats keep it close early, but fall to Liberty
Wildcat forward Sean Szad drives the baseline against a Liberty County defender on Tuesday at Wildcat Gym. - photo by Terry Logan

William Altman’s philosophy is - you have to play the game, so you may as well have a game plan. The Richmond Hill coach had a plan that kept his team close to the favored Liberty County squad on Tuesday for the second game in as many tries. The second half of both games also went the same way and the Panthers pulled away with a 49-32 win.

In the first contest the Wildcats employed a zone defense to keep the much taller Liberty County team outside the lane. This time around the Wildcats went back to their Man defense but played it soft enough to keep help in the lane and force the Panthers in to their outside game. Unfortunately for Altman and his Wildcats the Panthers were hitting their shots on this night more than his Wildcats were.

Liberty County was led by Jordan McRae’s 13 points and Michael Manning added 11 points, but they had a balanced attack that saw six other players light the scoreboard. Richmond Hill’s Chakiris Moss led all scorers with 17 points and Darius Postell chipped in 11 points, but there was very little offense from anyone else on the Wildcat bench.

Postell led the defense by taking three first period charges from the Panthers and had four total for the game. The Wildcats held their talented opponents to just seven first period points and the lead would change hands three times in the second period. An 18 point output for the Panthers in the third helped them to a lead they would not relinquish again.

Richmond Hill, now 7-12 and 2-5 region, will be home Saturday against Burke County, 7 p.m. start. On Tuesday, they travel to Portal for a 6 p.m. start.

In the girls game, the Lady Wildcats Elizabeth Bennett through everything but the kitchen sink at the highly regarded Lady Panthers but to no avail the Lady Panthers won the region 3-AAA contest 60-27.

Richmond Hill started the game in a man defense, switched to a box-1 defense in the second period and then tried the zone in the third but the Panthers handled it all even without one of their star players.

Nisha Adams was sidelined with a knee injury so the other half of the Georgia Tech signer tandem, Metra Walthour, had to step up. She did, and so did a few of her teammates, showing those in attendance why Liberty County is favored to go deep in post season again this year - their bench.

Walthour had 13 points, but Candace Barham picked up Adams duties in the post and contributed 14 points, Miata Askew led all scorers with 21, 11 of those coming in the fourth period.

Richmond Hill managed to keep the game close in the first period but a pair of Walthour field goals, including one of the three point variety, late in the period gave the Lady panthers a 13-7 advantage. Tyler Carlson started the second with a three pointer to give her team a little hope, but she would end up leaving the game early in the fourth period after taking a hard foul on a lay up and ended her night with only eight points.

The Lady Cats tried to box and one Walthour in the second but the Panthers simply spread the ball around and had four other players score in the period to build a halftime lead of 25-14. After Richmond Hill went to the zone in the third the Panthers countered with some full court pressure and started scoring off of turnovers as well.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Lady Cats, they will be home against Burke County tonight and travel to Portal on Tuesday.

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