'Huge win' for RHS

'Huge win' for RHS

News

'Huge win' for RHS

By

CONNERSVILLE, Ind.

Richmond victories over Connersville in girls basketball have been few and far between in the past decade.

Beating the Spartans on their home floor has been even rarer.

But the Red Devils snapped a three-game slide in style Tuesday night, halting Connersville 45-28 at Spartan Bowl.

Richmond’s last win over Connersville came in 2011. Before that, it was 2005.

But doing it at the Spartan Bowl? That hasn’t happened in at least 14 years.

“It’s a huge win for us,” said RHS coach Casey Pohlenz. “I’m very proud of how we played as a team.

“We executed tonight. We focused and we executed.”

That focus eliminated an early 11-2 deficit.

Richmond scored the final 13 points of the first quarter, then added another two early in the second for a dominating and game-changing 15-0 run.

That put the Red Devils ahead 17-11. And while Connersville pulled within one, 17-16, the Spartans never again tied or led the game.

“I loved the way that they played tonight,” Pohlenz said.

“That (Connersville) is a very good team and we were able to contest their shots, really frustrate them defensively. I was really proud of our defensive effort.”

RHS took a 33-21 advantage into halftime, then limited the Spartans to just one third-quarter point.

By the time Connersville scored its first field goal of the second half — a layup by Courtney Phillips with 5:34 left in the game — the Red Devil lead had reached 20.

Mackenzie Taylor led Richmond with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Brandy Sims scored 12 and Destiny Perkins added 10 points and six rebounds.

“Mackenzie showed great leadership — a lot of poise, a lot of patience, running the show, directing traffic,” Pohlenz said. “That’s why she’s the type of player she is.”

Sims couldn’t miss from the field. She finished 4-of-4, all 3-pointers.

“I’m really proud of my team that we got the win,” Sims said. “We all came together as a team. We all contributed, blocking out, good shots, good rhythm, good chemistry.”

Tahsiah Ferguson scored five for Richmond, with Bailey Hillard and Paetyn Claiborne adding two each.

Claiborne and Hannah Goddard both had five rebounds, with Hillard, Sims and Sarah Richards also helping out on the rebounding front.

Taylor Stephen finished with 15 points for Connersville (10-5), while Courtney Phillips netted 10 points to go with nine rebounds.

“This is a good win for us,” Pohlenz said. “We’ve played good teams well, but we haven’t quite broken through yet. Hopefully tonight was a breakthrough.”

Richmond (8-7) is back in action Friday night at Tiernan Center as part of a North Central Conference girls-boys doubleheader against Muncie Central.

The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. It’s the first home game for the Red Devils since a Dec. 11 win over Franklin County.

“Huge on Friday,” Pohlenz said. ” … When you have a chance to see someone as special as her (Taylor) play, you need to take advantage of it.

“There are going to be some big-time players in that game. It’s going to be a great game.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports