Richland Northeast’s girls basketball team is just one win away from matching last season’s win total. The vastly improved Cavaliers improved to 3-2 on the season with a 56-28 win over C.A. Johnson on Friday night.
It’s the kind of start second-year coach Scott Nelson hope to achieve with a veteran team that suffered through a 4-20 campaign a year ago.
“We expect to be much improved after a year of transition in a new program,” said Nelson.
“We had to learn all new defense and offense, as well as a new attitude and work ethic last season. This year we know how to work hard, play good defense and take care of the ball better on offense, so if we can continue to improve and build on last year's development. We feel like we can challenge for a playoff spot in the toughest region in the state. Our experience at guard will be the strength of our team, with depth and size in the post being an area of concern.”
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Six letter winners form the core of the team with returning starters Sharai Miller, Lauren Hearon, Sherees Rose and Kianna Rawlinson leading the way. Diamond Byous and Carrie Hutton are the other returning regulars.
Miller, a senior point guard, scored 19 points in the win over CAJ, and Rose, a sophomore guard, chipped in with 13 points.
The Cavaliers opened the season with a 2-1 showing at a preseason tournament hosted by A.C. Flora. RNE bounced back from a 38-36 first-round loss to Hammond with wins against White Knoll and Chapin.
Rose scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and came up with five steals in the 37-32 overtime win over Chapin in the tournament’s fifth-place game.