Wildcats fall to Valley HighPublished 10:30am Friday, December 21, 2012
By Ed Bailey
The Benjamin Russell High School basketball squads will be heading into the winter break with a sour taste in their mouths following losses to the Valley High School Rams in region play.
The Lady Wildcats lost 64-34, and the boys didn’t fare much better, ending up on the wrong side of a 58-36 score.
The setbacks drop both teams to 1-1 in region play.
Marquel Purter led all Wildcats with 11 points.
Dra Graham was another bright spot for an otherwise ineffective BRHS offense, scoring 10 points and netting three long-balls.
The Wildcat frontcourt struggled to find the basket as Woo Varner and Javoskie McNeal combined to score only nine points.
Valley controlled the game from start to finish, as the Rams headed into the second quarter up 18-11.
BRHS’ shooting woes worsened in the second and third. Valley went cold for much of the second quarter but heated up in the third, particularly from three as the Rams extended their lead to 19 as the game went into the fourth.
Graham and the Wildcats would warm up themselves but the lead was too much to overcome.
“We struggled offensively, we struggled defensively, we struggled in all phases of the game,” BRHS boys coach Jeff Hines said. “That’s my responsibility, and I’ll take the blame for that. We’ve got to go back to work and get better.”
Hines said he felt that the Wildcats’ inability to generate offense contributed to a letdown on the defensive side.
“We have to learn that just because we don’t do anything offensively doesn’t mean we don’t play defense,” he said. “Defense and rebounding are what will win championships.”
Hines said the team will use the break to rest and then work on fine-tuning their game.
“We’ll take a few days off, go back to work and try to iron some things out,” he said.
BRHS Girls vs. VHS Girls
A strong second quarter by the visiting Lady Rams of Valley High along with numerous BRHS turnovers spelled defeat for the Lady Wildcats.
Cookie Kelley paced BRHS with 12 points. Alexis Flowers added eight points.
BRHS was effective in the first quarter as a last-second shot by Kelley had the Lady ‘Cats within three heading into the second quarter.
Valley exploded in the second quarter, capitalizing on multiple giveaways and missed free throws by BRHS to outscore the Lady Wildcats 23-9, heading into the break up 36-19.
The third quarter was much of the same as the Lady Rams opened with a 16-0 scoring run. Valley ultimately outscored BRHS 19-3 in the stanza and the deficit was insurmountable.
BRHS girls coach Ron Rowe said he was surprised by Valley’s showing offensively.
“They (VHS) shot the ball a lot better than I thought they would,” he said. “We came out flat in the third quarter and Valley played aggressively.”
Despite the setback, Rowe said he was optimistic about the team, adding that he is confident that the girls will continue to improve.
“I’m not overly disappointed because I know we’re going to get better,” he said. “I saw a lot of good things out there.”