Richlands used a solid team effort to defeat Va. High 59-46 and advance to the finals of the Southwest District basketball tournament Feb. 15.
Va. High had defeated the Tornado by 30 points two weeks ago but led just once at 5-4 in the early minutes of the game in this one. “We made some adjustments and carried out our game plan to perfection Richlands Coach Fred Phillips said.
Cade Berry put Richlands up 6-5 and started an 8-0 run that put the Blues up for good. Richlands built a 28-16 halftime advantage and never let Va. High closer than seven the rest of the game.
Richlands connected on 18 of 26 free throws in the second half to put thee game away. Richlands was led By Berry with 23 including six of eight from the free throw line.
Va. High got 24 from Jake Johnston but no other player had more than five. Jean Mulumba, a strong inside player for the Bearcats sat out most of the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
Race Moir of Richlands sat out most of second half with four fouls and did not score in the game. The win advanced Richlands to the finals against Graham and earned them a first round home game in the playoffs.
Cam Allen set the pace for Graham as the G-Men raced past Lebanon. He finished the game with 20 and Drew Baker added 12. A. J. Bruck paced Lebanon with 16, Both teams will play again Feb. 16 with Lebanon facing Va. High in a consolation game.