Panthers 45, Wildcats 43
Richmond Hill Wildcats head coach William Altman said he knew his team was up against a tough opponent Saturday when Liberty County High School came to town. With two players destined for division one college teams, the undefeated Panthers are No. 1 in class AAA state rankings. Altman devised a "special strategy" to give his squad a chance.
The plan was anchored in the Wildcats’ zone defense and it worked for most of the game. Richmond Hill’s Lorenza Ross tied the match at 37 and sent it into overtime with a 10-foot jump shot at the three second mark. However, just four minutes later, the Panthers squeezed out a 45-43 victory.
University of Miami signee Rion Brown scored 6 of his 16 points in overtime. However, Brown’s highly regarded teammate, Tennesee signee Jordan McRae, managed just 6 points before he was removed from the game in the first half after a collision with a teammate.
The Wildcat zone defense forced both Brown and McRae to play on the perimeter, resulting in a lot of Panther long shots and few second chances.The Wildcats also took their time running a half-court offense against the Panthers’ man defense. The Wildcats committed fewer than 10 turnovers the entire game and eliminated Liberty County’s penchant for running the ball in transition. The Panthers’ point total was a season low and a far cry from their 70-plus average.
Although there were not a lot of fouls either way, Richmond Hill was only six of 15 at the foul line while their opponents went 12 for 19.
Richmond Hill fell to 8-7 overall and 2-3 in Region 3-AAA while Liberty County stayed perfect at 18-0 and 6-0.
Lady Panthers 46,
Lady Wildcats 34
The Liberty girls helped themselves to a 46-34 victory over the Richmond Hill Wildcats with a 22-point scoring run in the last quarter.
The balanced Lady Panther attack included 11 points each from Diamone Johnson and Kourtney Alexander and 10 from Anika Taylor. The Liberty squad improved to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in Region 3-AAA while Richmond Hill fell to 10-4 and 3-1.
The Lady Wildcats employed a zone defense and held their opponents to just 6 third-period points, clawing their way to within 2 points of the lead. However, poor shooting from the field, missed offensive opportunities and foul trouble at the end allowed the Lady Panthers a victory in the end.