Statesmen fall in regional semifinals

Published 10:10 am Thursday, February 22, 2018

An outstanding season for Randolph-Henry High School’s (R-H) varsity boys basketball team came to an earlier-than-desired close Wednesday as the No. 2-seeded Statesmen lost 62-57 to host No. 1 Goochland High School in the Region 2A tournament semifinals.

R-H Head Coach James Graves described the game as “close all the way.”

“We had a shot to tie with eight seconds to play, and the ball went in, rolled around inside the rim, then came back out,” he said. “Five (points) was the biggest lead of the game.”

It was the fourth time this season Randolph-Henry had faced the Bulldogs, and each team ended up earning a pair of victories against the other.

In their one visit to Goochland prior to Wednesday, the Statesmen defeated the Bulldogs 57-51 on Jan. 22. On Feb. 2, R-H fell 46-36 at home against Goochland when Statesmen senior guard/forward Tremaine Pugh, the district Player of the Year, was not at full health.

The teams’ most recent meeting came Feb. 12 in the James River District tournament title game when the Statesmen won 73-55 at Prince Edward County High School.

Describing what he thought was the big difference between that contest and Wednesday night’s game, Graves listed several things, starting with the fact that his team was playing at Goochland.

“They played a zone,” he said, continuing the list. “Zones have given us trouble all year. We are a streaky outside shooting team. The game was officiated much differently than any of our previous games. Fouls called at Prince Edward were no calls tonight for us. We still had our chances from the field but couldn’t cash in.”

The Statesmen finished the 2017-18 season with an 18-7 overall record.

Check out next week’s edition of The Gazette for more information on the regional semifinal.