Back and forth.
That one sentence could describe tonight’s game at Jay County. The Red Devils started their 2019/2020 season on the road against the Patriots. A Patriots team that lost to the Red Devils by 23 points last year at the Tiernan Center. A team, that wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. A team that started 3 seniors and 2 sophomores and rotated in another sophomore and a freshman.
The Patriots staff knew, Richmond was dangerous if allowed to play the game at their speed. Jay County’s strategy? Pass around the arc and wait for Richmond to open a lane defensively that you could take advantage of. Now we don’t keep track of Time of Possession in high school basketball, but it was obvious in the first three quarters that Jay County had the ball on offense much longer than Richmond did. Yet, the score stayed close. In fact, the largest margin was 7 points in the 2nd quarter. Richmond was up 24-17. Jay County shot an (almost) last second 3 to bring the half time score 24-20.
From there, Richmond allowed Jay County to catch up, until late in the 4th quarter when foul trouble caught up with the Red Devils. Yes, practically everyone on the floor in a Red Jersey had several fouls before the night was over. In fact, Richmond had given up 10 team fouls in the 2nd half before the night was over, and when it counted, it sent Jay County to the line for easy free throws which all but sealed the deal for the Patriots.
Jay County avenged last year’s score 47-44.
Richmond’s home opener is this coming Friday, December 6th as they take on the Hagerstown Tigers for the first times since 2009.