Destiny Perkins told Bailey Hillard the pass was coming.
Perkins led all scorers with 19 points Friday night, but one of the Richmond freshman’s biggest plays wasn’t a shot.
Perkins dished a picture-perfect, behind-the-back pass to a waiting Hillard, who went straight up for the shot and was fouled late in the second half.
It was an impressive play during an impressive opening win — an 80-36 road victory for the Red Devils at Centerville.
“We needed this game to get us ready for the season,” Perkins said.
And that pass to Hillard?
“I told her, ‘I’m going to get you a pass tonight behind the back,'” Perkins said. “I’ve been working on that in practice. I knew passing it to her, she would go straight up with it.”
Fellow freshman Lexus Perkins finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Red Devils, with junior Mackenzie Taylor scoring 10 in limited minutes.
Taylor started Friday and played sparingly. She tore her ACL in June, but the Wright State verbal commit looked strong in her time on the court against the Bulldogs.
“That was pretty much the plan, and I think you’ll see us follow that for a while now,” said RHS coach Casey Pohlenz. “I thought she played really well tonight.”
She wasn’t alone.
Richmond sprinted to a 12-0 advantage, and led 20-3 after one quarter.
Merissa Ross scored Centerville’s first field goal with 3:49 left in the second quarter, and RHS held a 41-16 lead at halftime.
Hillard and Paetyn Claiborne each scored nine points for Richmond, with Brandy Sims scoring eight, Hannah Goddard four, Lilly Sagna three and Sarah Richards one.
Goddard also pulled down 10 rebounds, with Sims finishing with six and Hillard five.
“That’s something we’ve talked a lot about, having more balance,” Pohlenz said. “We’ve talked about it before, but I really feel it can come to fruition this year. I really think we have a lot more balance.
“We have two really unselfish guards in Mackenzie and Destiny. I’m really pleased with how well we shared the ball.”
Makayla McFarland paced Centerville with 16 points and seven rebounds. Ross scored eight and Morgane Chenowith added five.
Karly Jennings had a team-high eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Shelby Short contributed with five.
“Their athleticism and their quickness got to us,” Centerville coach Jason Searcy said of the Red Devils. “Their rotations — that’s probably one of the quickest Richmond teams I’ve seen them have in a long time. We just didn’t adjust to it very well.
“I thought our second half was a lot better. They relaxed. They did the things we had talked about. I think we can take a lot from the second half.”
Centerville (0-1) is at home again tonight as the Bulldogs play host to Franklin County.
“There are a lot of things we can work on,” Searcy said.
“We talked about toughness, going after the ball. … Tomorrow will be a lot better.”
Richmond (1-0) is off until next Friday when the Red Devils play host to Ohio foe National Trail in the Blazers’ season opener at Tiernan Center.
That is the season opener for the Blazers.
“We’ve definitely got to focus on executing at the (free-throw) line,” said Pohlenz, whose team was 10-of-23 Friday.