Outlook is good for R-H

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity girls basketball team had a difficult run last year, but things are looking up with the 2018-19 season on the horizon.

Lady Statesmen Head Coach D.J. Jack said, “This is the third year I’ve been here, and I think this year I have probably one of the best groups of kids that I’ve had since I’ve been here.”

During the 2017- 18 campaign, Randolph-Henry finished at 1-19 after falling in the first round of the Region 2A tournament.

Several of the players from that team will return with more experience this year, and they will be joined by members of the 2017-18 junior varsity (JV) team that experienced a good bit of success.

In addition to the varsity squad last year, Jack spent time working with the JV players.

“I feel comfortable with those young kids,” he said. “It’s going to take some time to get them into the mix of playing on the varsity level, but my outlook, I feel pretty good. I really do. Of course, we’ve got some strong teams in our district with Nottoway, Amelia, Prince Edward, we’re going to have to battle, we’re going to have to play good every night. I think we’ll not turn the ball over as much. I’ve got a JV guard that’s coming up that’s probably going to be able to help me out with handling the basketball. So, really, I feel great.”

Point guard Morgan Spencer returns for her senior season after standing out on varsity last year and making the all-district second team.

From her, Jack said, “I expect a little bit more scoring. I think she’s more relaxed with the kids that we have. Last year was her first year transferring in from Indiana. She feels more comfortable, looking for more scoring for her and hopefully handling the ball a lot for me this year too.”

Two of the call-ups from the JV team have been standing out already in the preseason.

One of those girls is junior center/forward Hannah Shay, who will give the Lady Statesmen some important size in the paint.

Another key JV-turned-varsity player has been sophomore guard/forward Najada Robertson.

“She’s going to be one of the guards that’s going to be handling the basketball for me,” Jack said. “She’s very athletic.”

Robertson got a taste of varsity play last year in the first-round regional game against No. 2 Greensville County High School, and she led Randolph-Henry in scoring.

Pondering games during the regular season that will reveal where his team is at developmentally, Jack pointed to contests against four strong teams in the district.

“Prince Edward’s going to be loaded,” he said. “Goochland’s loaded. Don’t know much about Nottoway — they lost right many. Of course, Amelia, she’s always strong.”

Randolph-Henry’s season begins Tuesday at William Campbell High School at 7 p.m.