CONYERS -- Breanna Richardson and Brianna Patton didn't provide much in the first half of Tuesday's game with Luella. Unfortunately for the visiting Lions, the second half was a different story. Richardson and Patton combined for 24 second-half points after a total of just six in the opening half, and Rockdale held on for a 49-42 win in the Region 2-AAAAAA opener for both schools.
It was the first league game for Rockdale in its new classification, and the league opener in the Conyers school's brand-new gymnasium.
Richardson, who led all scorers with 17 points, had a big third quarter, helping Rockdale build leads as large as 12 points. The six-foot forward hit a field goal, which was followed by Tamara Sanders' pass to Patton for another bucket, that capped a 7-0 run and put Rockdale up 23-12. Richardson and Patton (13 points) each had an offensive rebound and put back on consecutive possessions that made it 32-20.
Luella climbed back into the game, and an 8-0 run late in the fourth cut Rockdale's lead to 44-38 at the 1:17 mark. Later, a field goal by Brianna Moore made it 47-42 with 16 seconds left.
In a sloppy opening half, Luella finished with more turnovers (14) than points and trailed 18-12 at the break.
Rockdale also turned the ball over 14 times, but despite the struggles, went on an 11-2 run at one point. Shebreta Alexander had a field goal and an assist during the spurt as the Bulldogs built a 16-7 cushion.
That lead didn't last as Richardson, a recent Mississippi State signee, went to the bench at the 5:55 mark, and the visitors hit five free throws, 3-of-4 coming from Sade Jacobs to pull within 16-12 with a half minute left in the second.
Richardson retuned late and drained a jumper off a pass from Tahjanae Watkins to make it an 18-12 game.
Jacobs led Luella with 16 points.
The Rockdale boys played Luella in the nightcap, which ended too late for this edition.