The quiet before the storm
Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The regular season has come to a close for Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity boys and girls basketball teams, and it was a quiet year in comparison to last year, but the quiet generally precedes the storm.
The 2017-18 Randolph-Henry varsity boys team that had one of the program’s best seasons since the late 1990s did not achieve that success overnight. James Graves, head coach of that team, had to build the Statesmen up from a losing 2015- 16 campaign to a 2016- 17 season in which they finished 9-11.
The next season, they went 18-7 and won the James River District (JRD) tournament championship. Graves said that was “only the second time I know of that a tournament championship has been achieved” by the team.
He retired in July 2018, and Assistant Coach Josh Haskins took the reins of the program for the 2018- 19 season.
Haskins and the Statesmen certainly missed the talents of graduated stars Nasheim Pettus, Jordan Jones and Tremaine Pugh, the latter of which was named 2017-18 JRD Player of the Year.
Nevertheless, Haskins led a scrappy team that gave even the best in the region a challenge. Randolph-Henry fell 78-40 to eventual district regular season and tournament champion Goochland High School on the road Jan. 4, but in the rematch to their season Feb. 7, the host Statesmen fell only 59-50.
They finished year with a 5-16 overall record and missed the regional tournament, but they showed promise that they know the way back and will be there soon.
The Lady Statesmen may not have achieved a winning season this year, but they showed clear improvement, nevertheless, putting in place a stepping stone that marks a path in the right direction.
The 2017-18 Randolph-Henry varsity girls team finished with an overall record of 1-19 after falling 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.
This time around, the girls hold a 4-14 record entering the regional tournament, ending the regular season with the exclamation point of a 42-39 victory over visiting William Campbell High School.
The varsity Statesmen and Lady Statesmen of the hardwood may not have flashy records this season, but they gave hope to fans that better days are on their way.