Savannah native Brittany Richardson did not know much about South Carolina until she moved to the state two years ago.
The Ridgeland senior has undergone multiple adjustments since moving here as a sophomore, getting used to a new school, getting to know new teammates and learning a new system.
But the Jaguars post player said she has had fun since cracking the starting lineup as a junior. And her team is winning.
Richardson led the Jaguars in scoring and rebounding on their way to the Region 5-A title. Ridgeland's lone region loss came this past week to Estill, a team it handled easily the first meeting.
But the setback did not affect Ridgeland's playoff seeding. The Jaguars open the Class 1-A postseason Monday at home.
Richardson sat down with The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette before a recent practice to talk about the season's successes, her college plans and what gets the Jaguars hyped during games.
Q: You guys were rolling before the Estill game Saturday. How did it go down?
A: It was an intense game. It was very intense. We wanted that game. We wanted to be undefeated in the region. The first time we played them, we blew them out. The first game, we were more intense than we were the last game.
Q: Other than that, how has your senior year gone?
A: It's gone how I wanted. My senior year is my last year playing with this team and playing high school basketball, period, and it's going good. We have a winning season. And we're region champs now. We were saying we wanted it at the beginning of the season and knew we had to work hard for it.
Q: Do you know what you want to do next year?
A: Go to college and play basketball. Either Allen (University) or (South Carolina). I've already put in applications. Me and my guidance counselor are working now for scholarships and stuff. And I guess she's talking to coaches at colleges I want to attend. When I was supposed to visit USC, we had to play that (rescheduled) game from when they cleared out the gym for the (Allendale-Fairfax) game. That was the same day we had that game, so I didn't go. But I've heard good things about it.
Q: How do you all get along? What's the makeup of this team?
A: We get along good. There's no problems or nothing. We act like a team on and off the court. Like tonight, the majority of the team is going to a basketball game. Some of us hang out outside of basketball. Some of us got the same classes together, so we see each other during school.
Q: How does having five seniors help with the chemistry?
A: We all get along, it doesn't matter what grade. We've just got that connection, because we're a team. We be with each other from 7:30 in the morning to 5:30. The seniors get along. Most of us start, so we've just got that connection.
Q: What's been your history here at Ridgeland?
A: I got here in 10th grade. I was at Beach High in Savannah. My mom heard about (Ridgeland) through a friend. I'd never heard of Ridgeland.
Q: What was your first impression?
A: My 10th grade year was my first year coming to a pre-K through 12 school. I was lost. It's divided, but still. When you ride the bus, you have all the kids pre-K through 12. When I first got here, I was riding the bus, and I was like, 'Why are all these kids on the bus?' And then we came to school and everybody got off.
Q: What was the adjustment like basketball-wise?
A: I started at Beach a couple of times, but it wasn't like here. I was new and didn't really know the girls. When I started my 11th grade year, it was actually fun.
Q: What's your style of play?
A: When I step on the court, the adrenaline is already pumping. I'm always hype. I've got to be hype when I'm playing. Everybody on the floor, especially the starting five, we've just got that connection. So when we get on the floor, it's fun. We know we can trust our teammates. We have fun, but we also listen to our coach. We always say, 'Offense sells tickets, but defense wins games.' With our defense, we be hype and ready to go. Our coach drills it in our head all the time -- 'Defense, defense, defense.' Our bench chants, 'Defense.'
Q: What kind of defense do you normally run?
A: Coach likes (man-to-man). At the beginning of the game, we come out in man. And sometimes, it depends on the other team, sometimes we'll run a zone, and that's 2-3. It depends on the score or what the other team does; sometimes we'll come out in full-court man or 2-1-2 or 2-2-1 press.
Q: What are the expectations for the playoffs?
A: We're focused on, as usual, our defense and taking it a game at a time. But we're trying to go all the way.