Richlands claims rivalry win over Tazewell
Richlands (73) Vs. Tazewell (44)
Jan 15, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
RICHLANDS, Va. -- The Tazewell Bulldogs had the better of the first quarter in Friday night's county rivalry game with Richlands. The Blue Tornado took care of the rest.
Richlands started the second quarter with a 16-0 splurge and cruised to a 73-44 victory to the delight of many blue-clad fans around the Richlands Middle School court.
"One of our strong points is our numbers," said Richlands head coach Fred Phillips. "We try to wear people down. We do run in spurts."
"Richlands and Tazewell, in checkers, it'd be a big crowd, and a rival match."
Cody Fuller was all over the court for the Blue Tornado, making defensive stops and leading the scoring column with 19 points. Luke Phillips and Grant Herndon each added 15. Herndon's were the result of five 3-point goals.
Fuller's 3-pointer from the corner late in the third quarter pushed Richlands' lead to 24 points, 50-26 capping a 17 to 7 run after halftime.
Freshman Taylor Horn played a superb game, making stops on defense, snatching rebounds and scoring 13 points in his second varsity contest.
"I owe it to my teammates," Horn said. "They bring the energy, and I just feed on it."
He said about the rivalry with Tazewell, "We try to go out and keep good sportsmanship. Our coaches drill that into us."
Phillips said, "Taylor Horn, he's just a great kid. ... I brought him up (to varsity). He was a little hesitant at first, a little unsure, but I told him if he couldn't do it, I wouldn't have brought him up."
Tazewell senior Dakota Crouse scored 13 points and junior T.J. Kitts chipped in 10.
For Tazewell head coach Tom Rife, it was a surreal experience. He was familiar with the environment, having served years ago at Richlands head coach. He also worked as an administrator at Graham.
"Graham treated me very good. Richlands treated me very good. Tazewell has treated me very good," he said. "I could not have asked to have been treated better, at any one of those three places."
Richlands continues to roll through its schedule.
Phillips said about the Blues' 7-1 start, "They've been together for a long time. The kids are buying in (to) a family atmosphere, and doing whatever it takes to win. Everybody's got a job to do, one through 15. ... Be all in, for everybody."
Rife said, "How boring life would be, in sports, if we never had a rival! ... Your kids will work harder, they will get more focused, because you can always draw back on that rivalry."
"That being said, certainly we would have liked to have played better, and to have won the game. But as far as the rivalry is concerned, we embrace it."
"I've been on both sides of the bench, and I can tell you, we both embrace it."
Richlands has another Tazewell County battle ahead, taking on the Graham G-Men in Bluefield on Tuesday.

At Richlands Middle School
Dakota Griffith 2 0-0 5, Hunter Mullins 0 3-5 3, T.J. Kitts 4 0-2 10, Alex Van Hoozer 3 0-3 6, Dakota Crouse 5 3-7 13, Ben Samaniego 2 3-8 7. Totals 16 9-25 44.
Luke Phillips 5 3-4 15, Grant Herndon 5 0-0 15, Cody Fuller 7 3-7 19, Ethan Ratliff 0 0-1 0, Bryce Farris 1 0-0 2, Mackenzie Smith 1 1-1 3, Ben Thomason 0 1-2 1, Taylor Horn 5 3-7 13, Landon Lowe 2 1-2 5. Totals 26 12-24 73.
3-point goals -- THS 3 (Kitts 2, Griffith 1); RHS 9 (Herndon 5, Phillips 2, Fuller 2). Fouled out -- THS, Samaniego; RHS, Lowe.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Richlands 10 23 19 21 0 73
Tazewell 14 4 12 14 0 44
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