Cats versus Cats results in basketball split

Jan. 28—VALDOSTA — It was Wildcat versus Wildcat in the 'Cat Cage on Friday night. Valdosta High School hosted Richmond Hill for a regional doubleheader, which resulted in a win for both sides.

The girls' varsity game had an interesting element as both teams had the same overall record for the season of 14-7 going into the game. It looked to be an intense match; however, Valdosta's Lady 'Cats could not keep up with their opponent, falling 48-34. The Lady 'Cats are 0-5 on their regional run so far.

The boys' varsity game stayed intense and close for most of the game. Valdosta's athletes went on a tear in the fourth quarter to end the game 67-51. The win furthers Valdosta's boys to a 4-1 regional record.

Lady Wildcats

The night started with some early points from Valdosta, with a layup from Ryann Potter and an inside shot from Nadia Gardner. Valdosta's Lady 'Cats were up 6-0 in the first two minutes of the game; however, they would be unable to score for the rest of the first quarter.

Richmond Hill adjusted and took over the rest of the quarter. The Wildcats from out of town took the lead with inside plays from Mmekom Inyaang and Cullen McCormick. Five fouls from Valdosta only made things more challenging for them, as Richmond Hill's MaKiyah Matthews ended the first quarter with a three-pointer.

The second quarter would see Valdosta put up another six points, with four being free throws. Matthews would continue to dominate, putting up nine points before the quarter ended. The first half ended 26-12 for Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill would show no change, with Matthews putting up two more 3-pointers in the third quarter. Valdosta's Gardner attempted to get their team back in the game with good inside plays, but Richmond Hill again outscored Valdosta for the quarter.

Valdosta locked in going into the final quarter, playing excellent defense. Lauren Bloom showed out for the home side, putting up six points, and bringing much-needed momentum to Valdosta.

Valdosta only allowed six points from Richmond Hill and put up 12 points themselves in the final quarter, showing they had what it took. However, the game ended shortly after in a win for Richmond Hill, 48-34.


The varsity boys' contest brought an intensity to end the night. Israel Jenrette, an integral piece to Valdosta's roster, started the game with points for the home side. The 6-foot-11 senior was a threat under the basket, constantly getting rebounds throughout the game.

A 3-pointer from Richmond Hill's Bryce Hendricks put the away team ahead for the first and only time. Inside play from Valdosta's Jabarri Williams and Eric Love took the lead back. Valdosta opted to play more on the inside for the first half, with Richmond Hill playing for their shooters.

The first quarter consisted of very few stoppages, so the game seemed fast-paced, ending with a slight lead for Valdosta. Both teams played an strong game in the paint for the second quarter, with a 3-pointer from Richmond Hill's Liam Bolton keeping the two teams close. The first half ended 28-24 for the Valdosta Wildcats.

Two three-pointers from Richmond Hill's Hendricks and Braylon Hayes tied the game two minutes into the third quarter. A layup and two successful free throws from Valdosta's Williams and back-to-back inside shots from RaCobe Studevan built back Valdosta's lead. Another three-pointer from Richmond Hill ended the third quarter 44-40 in a nail-bitter of a game.

Determined not to give up the 'Cat Cage to the out-of-town Wildcats, Valdosta's athletes turned it up for the final quarter.

Love started with two 3-pointers, followed by a nice layup from Chase Holmes. Valdosta would put up 23 fourth-quarter points to Richmond Hill's 11.

Mixing in their versatility, Valdosta's Wildcats seemed unstoppable in their shooting and inside plays. A dunk from Jenrette excited the crowd as the team ran up the scoreboard. The game ended 67-51.