By Matt Maher 

ORWELL, OH – Basketball may be known for its fast gameplay and quick decision making but Richmond Heights sought to prove the world wrong on Saturday night when they beat Western Reserve by the final score of 24-20. This score was achieved by playing basketball for about a quarter and a half and then playing keep away for the remainder of the night. 


The first quarter saw both teams play in a well played defensive battle where Richmond Heights outscored the Blue Devils 12-11. Western Reserve saw three players tally 3 points in the frame with Quincy Miller and Angelina Cappabianca both scoring from beyond the arc and Alysia Hughes putting in a bucket in the paint and going 1-for-2 from the line. The Spartans were led by Honor Hall with 6 points and Hall would continue to be their big name player but not for the reason most would expect in a huge playoff game. 


The second quarter had an even lower score of 9-4 in favor of Richmond. Lisa Eichert and Hughes combined for the 4 points for Reserve with Hughes finding a layup and Eichert showing skill from the line throwing a perfect 2-for-2. Hall was huge for her team on offense because she found two triples to earn another 6 points and she held onto the ball for a good 4 minutes spread across three different occasions. While that may seem excessive just wait until you read on to the third quarter.


Richmond Heights began the half with possession and with a quick inbound to Hall the Spartans quickly dribbled the ball over the center court line and she set up shop just beyond the line. For 7 minutes and 35 seconds Honor Hall just stood in the offensive zone, sometimes dribbling the ball and sometimes holding it and did absolutely nothing of interest or of note other than letting the clock run out. The Blue Devils never once pressed Hall and allowed her to stand there and drain the clock and to be fair the Spartans did have the lead and in a big game as this you need to find the right strategy to win and with the OHSAAs rules being as they are this strategy did end up working very well for Richmond. 


The fourth quarter actually saw scoring and ball movement and everything you would expect from a basketball game. Western Reserve mounted a comeback attempt that would fall short with the Blue Devils finally outscoring Richmond 5-3. Hall continued to contribute and lead in offense with 2 of the 3 points for her team. All scoring in the frame was found from the free throw line with Hall going 2-for-6. Western Reserves free throws showed better results with Kylee Ramsey and Quincy Miller both hitting 2 free throws while Alycia Hughes went 1-for-2. 


Despite a well played 1st quarter and an exciting 4th what was sandwiched in between was about 4 minutes of basketball and 12 minutes of standing around. While there are many opinions on what this means for the game and what should be done to prevent this kind of behavior on the court it doesn’t help this game since the rules allow for players to hold onto the ball for long periods of time if the defense doesn’t look to pressure the offense this was a very clean game played very intelligently by Richmond who saw a Blue Devils team who could defend them and potentially beat them which is what we almost saw in the 4th. Unfortunately this game did not end the way the Blue Devils wanted and their great season came to its conclusion as their district runner up. Congratulations to Western Reserve for making it to this stage and for playing great basketball all season long!