CHAGRIN FALLS—Richmond Heights is in control of its own destiny after a 55-44 win at Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division rival Chagrin Falls on Saturday.
The Spartans, who improved to 6-0 in league play can win the Chagrin Division title outright with a win in either of its two remaining league games left to be played. The Spartans host Orange and have a road game left at West Geauga.
“The job is not done, it’s set up to be our second consecutive conference title, we didn’t win any league games two years ago,” said Richmond Heights coach Eugene White. “Right now, we haven’t lost a conference game in two years. Our goal right now is to finish the job. After we play Orange next Saturday, we want to be cutting down our nets for the second straight season and taking that momentum into the tournament.”
Chagrin Falls got the early jump on Richmond Heights taking a 5-3 lead before the Spartans made their move to end the quarter on an 11-5 run to take a 14-10 lead into the second quarter.
The Spartans never looked back.
From the jump, it was simple and clear what the message and mentality was for Richmond Heights as the Spartans put together an 8-2 run to open the second quarter to go up 22-12.
Chagrin Falls made a run of its own in the third quarter that cut Richmond Heights’ lead to just four points.
“We had to start taking care of the ball; we started firing up shots,” White said. “We need to be able to run our offense and be patient. When we do that, we can get whatever shot we want.”
Three Spartans scored in double figures including Honor Hall, who scored a game-high 21 points. Nisey Darden contributed with 15, and Mya Johnson pitched in with 11.
MiAngel Harrell added four points while both Nalasha Cramer and Alanna Scott each finished with two points.
“We have the players, we have the talent; we have three young ladies who can put up double figures every night,” White said of his team’s balanced scoring. “Three players scoring in double figures helps us out a lot. We have the talent to do what needs to be done, we just have to keep working.”
Richmond Heights clinched at least a share of the Chagrin Division title, an incredible accomplishment for a program that has had its share of struggles.
“It’s something big because this program hasn’t accomplished in a long time,” White said. “We’re moving in the right direction, and we’re excited about it. We know that’s not the end goal, but it’s our first goal before the season even starts is a conference title and we did that today.”
Chagrin Falls dropped to 13-8 overall and 6-2 in conference play.
Lilly Stukus led the way for the Tigers with 17 points while both Amelia Bencko and Avery Russell finished with eight points. Abby Kay pitched in with five, Norah Pope had four, and Elena Goodwin contributed with two points.
Richmond Heights visits Beaumont on Feb. 13 while Chagrin Falls will look to rebound against visiting Cuyahoga Heights on Feb. 14.