Lady Dukes Fall To Randolph-Henry

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland High School girls basketball team came close to getting their first victory over a James River District opponent in five seasons, but fell just a bit short in a 40-35 Randolph-Henry on Friday night.

In fact, if the object of the game had been to get the ball to hit the top of the rim, the Lady Dukes may have been celebrating a district win.

“We put some shots that didn't fall,” said Cumberland head coach Omar Liggins. “Good shots. But for one reason or another, they just wouldn't go through the hoop.

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“You tell them to hit the box on the backboard, and the shot should go in. Those wouldn't even fall for us.”

Cumberland held an early lead, but trailed after the first two minutes for the remainder of the night.

The Lady Dukes were, however, able to keep things close – never trailing by more than two buckets. Then, with 3:32 remaining in the contest, Ivy Arbaugh converted a three-point-play to tie the contest at 29 apiece.

Randolph-Henry answered with a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to take control of the game with 1:15 remaining.

By the time CHS guard I-Mecka Anderson hit both ends of a one-and-one with 1:08 remaining, the Lady Statesmen were sitting on a 36-31 lead, and quickly responded with a lay-up on the other end to regain its three-possession advantage.

“We're not to the point where we can score a bunch of points in a short amount of time,” said Liggins. “So, with our two shooters fouled out, we were going to have our work cut out for us, when they took that lead late in the game. You've got to give them credit, though. Randolph-Henry is a scrappy team, and they make you work for everything you can get, whereas, we put them on the foul line too much.”

For the Lady Dukes, it was another JRD loss in a string they hope can be snapped relatively quickly.

“One thing I liked was that the girls weren't happy with just competing,” said Liggins. “This loss hurt. That's good. Losses are supposed to hurt.”

Cumberland was led in scoring by Anderson, who had 15 points on the evening, while Arbaugh and Javonda Holman scored seven points apiece.

Cumberland was scheduled to travel to Central of Lunenburg on Wednesday night, and will host Amelia on Friday, before traveling to Buckingham on January 18.

“The district is going to be tough for us,” said Liggins. “We're still learning, but it's going to come around. We've got a long season ahead of us, and we're continuing to get better.”