Making progress in a difficult season

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity girls basketball team took positive strides during the 2017-18 season even though wins were scarce.

The Lady Statesmen finished with an overall record of 1-19.

Reflecting on the season, R-H Head Coach D.J. Jack pointed to two things he and his players tried to work on all summer last year.

“We wanted to score more points,” he said. “We scored 184 more points this year than we did last year. We wanted to focus on not averaging 32.2 turnovers a game. We knocked that down to 21.6.”

He noted that the team’s field goal percentage is not as high as he wants it to be, but the addition of junior guard Morgan Spencer has helped.

“As she goes, we go,” Jack said.

Spencer transferred to Randolph-Henry after moving to the area from Indiana. She ended up leading the Lady Statesmen in scoring, averaging 9.9 points per game.

She was named to the All-James River District second team.

Randolph-Henry’s final game of the season came in the first round of the Region 2A tournament. The seventh-seeded Lady Statesmen lost 64-22 to host No. 2 Greensville County High School.

Jack described Greensville as being loaded with talent, including three guards that had significant range to their shooting ability. The team also pressed the Lady Statesmen defensively, which consistently cause them problems during the season.

“Overall, as far as the play I saw, I brought up some (junior varsity) players, and one of the JV kids, Najada Robertson, was my leading scorer,” Jack said. “All three kids I bought up from JV played excellent.”

The varsity team will lose four players due to graduation, but Jack communicated excitement about the players he could bring up to the team if he is back as coach.

“The JV kids are hungry,” he said. “They finished the season 6-11 and lost five games by, I don’t know, five or less points.”

The coach said he was not going to hide the fact that the varsity squad has a lot of work to do.

“I was proud of the number of kids that we had come out in the summer and work, and it showed as far as ball handling and being able to put the ball in the basket,” Jack said. “And with these JV kids, all those seven kids on JV will probably, if I’m there, they’ll probably all be playing for me next year on varsity level.”