Lady Raiders hold off Heritage comeback attempt

With only two more games left to play in the 2019-20 regular season, the Appomattox Raiders varsity girls basketball team is peaking at just the right time. 

On Wednesday night at Appomattox County High School, the Raiders defeated non-district opponent Heritage by a score of 54-40 to improve their overall record to 10-10. 

Thanks to a precise Raider passing game, and disciplined defensive that disrupted the Heritage offensive game plan, Appomattox held a decisive 28-11 lead at halftime. The Pioneers managed only two points in the second quarter. 

Whatever was said to the Heritage players at halftime was effective as the Pioneers mounted a ferocious comeback, scoring 13 consecutive points to cut the lead to 28-24. Tatiyana Graham contributed five of those points on a 3-pointer and layup off a turnover. 

Shaniya Johnson helped the Raiders keep Heritage at a distance at 32-26 on two free throws and a jump shot off an assist from Hayley Carrico, who made a nice spin move on her defender to create the pass. 

Appomattox got back in gear and opened up another double-digit (38-28) lead when senior forward Sierra "C.C." Bryant sank a long jump shot from just inside the right shoulder of the circle as the third quarter buzzer sounded. Fans of Bryant, primarily in the ACHS student section, gave her a rousing applause. From that point onward, every time Bryant touched the ball on offense with a little space, those same fans shouted, "Shoot!"

After starting the season at 0-5, Appomattox has a 10-5 record and is playing at a higher level of confidence. Heritage, of the Class 3 Seminole District, goes to 2-20. 

Johnson led Appomattox with 21 points. Carrico had a solid all-round game with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Aailyah Hodge added 9 points and 7 rebounds, while Mackenzie Hatcher posted 6 points and 8 boards. 

Wednesday was Senior Night at Appomattox. Johnson, Carrico and Bryant were honored before the game. 

The Raiders travel to Nelson County on Friday night before concluding the regular season at home Monday against Gretna. JV plays at 5:30 p.m., followed by varsity. 

Regional play begins the week of Feb. 24. Dates and opponents are to be determined. 

For the rest of the story, see the Feb. 19 edition of the Times Virginian.