ARC girls coach Pat Rivers believed that last year's team had a good nucleus. If that's the case, then this year's team must have a great nucleus.
In the first meeting of the two newest powers in Region 4-AAA, Richmond Academy knocked off previously unbeaten Westside 68-51 on Friday night. Richmond also took the boys' contest 76-53.
Westside sprinted out to an early 11-2 lead behind Brandi Robertson's 7 quick points and four ARC turnovers in the first two minutes of the game.
The Musketeers switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense that pressured the Patriots and led to 23-3 run that stretched over two quarters. Westside was hurt by the loss of center Angela Griffin to foul trouble after taking the early lead.
"Once Griffin came out, it changed our whole game plan," said Westside coach Bill Richey.
The Patriots had no answer for ARC guard Kristy Scott who finished with 20 points. Scott, who transferred from Augusta Christian before the season, also nailed four three-pointers.
"I think we took a kind of nonchalant attitude toward Westside coming into the game," said Rivers. "But we came alive when we needed to."
Robertson's 23 points led Westside, whose next game will be in the Aiken Christmas Tournament.
In the boys game, Richmond roared out to an early 17-2 first quarter lead behind the great play of point guard Charlie Williams, Ty Shine's successor. Williams nailed two threes and tossed an alley-oop pass to Amos Brittain for a dunk to highlight the run.
The steady play of Antwan Dent, who finished with 22 points, and Lamatavous Collins helped Richmond bulk their lead
up to 21 points midway through the third period.
Westside pieced together an 9-0 run to pull within 12, 54-42, at the start of the fourth quarter. Then a Dent bucket and free throw began a Richmond 9-0 run that allowed the Musketeers to pull away and cruise to victory. The Richmond win ended a six game losing streak to Westside.
Collins finished with 18 points and Williams had 15 for Richmond. Westside was paced by Marcus Hope's 11 and Ndu Egekeze's 10. The pair are the two remaining starters from last year's State Final Four team for the Patriots.