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R-H girls looking to handle pressure

Randolph-Henry High School’s (R-H) varsity girls basketball team entered this week with an 0-3 record on the season, but the Lady Statesmen have been steadily improving, particularly with taking care of the basketball.

R-H Head Coach D.J. Jack indicated that his focus right now is seeing his team stop turning the ball over as much as it has.

“The first game we (committed) 32 turnovers, the second game we cut it down to 22, and Friday against Nottoway we cut it down to 19,” Jack said. “So I’m looking for us to handle the basketball, handle pressure and just go out and play like we can play.”

The team’s 2019-20 roster is comprised of two seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.

“In this district, we are struggling because when we step on the floor, we’re kind of outmanned (against) about every team that we play, and that’s OK, because we’re going to get better, and we have gotten better,” Jack said. “We’re scoring some points. We’re playing fairly good defense.”

The Lady Statesmen opened their season with a 41-15 home loss to Prince Edward County High School on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The next day, they lost 51-26 to host William Campbell High School, and then they lost 50-28 to host Nottoway High School on Friday, Dec. 6.

“First game was 11-9 at halftime, we were down two,” Jack said. “Second game it was 25-15 against William Campbell, we were down 10. We were down 10 also at Nottoway, and we came out in the second half in all three games, and we just lost our composure. They put a little ball pressure on us, and we turned the ball over about, let me see, Prince Edward, we turned it over 23 times in the second half, William Campbell, 21 times, and Nottoway, we only turned it over 15 times.”

But those numbers reiterate that the team is trending in the right direction.

Last year’s squad finished 4-15, falling in the first round of regionals to host King William High School.

R-H will miss the shooting skills of leading scorer Morgan Spencer, who graduated this past spring, but Jack is looking to junior guard India Spencer, unrelated to Morgan, to help fill the void.

“She shoots the ball very well from the outside, so hopefully she’ll pick up the slack for Morgan,” he said. “… She’s been our leading scorer the last three games.”

Jack said while his team would probably not be able to compete against the district’s elite, against some teams, “I feel comfortable that if our kids play, I think we can win some games.”