Bad start spoils Richardson's return to Parkview

LILBURN -- Steve Richardson's first game back on the Parkview bench didn't start the way he or any other coach would have wanted.

Chattahoochee scored 13 straight points before the first quarter was even half over and the Panthers could never recover in the opening boys game at the 16th annual Parkview Tip-Off Classic.

Chattahoochee, which was 25-6 and reached the Class AAAA state quarterfinals last season, rolled to a 72-44 victory Thursday night.

"We're starting over and trying to take it step by step," Richardson said. "It's a learning process. The start to the game obviously wasn't what we wanted, but they kept battling."

Parkview got back to within 21-10 by the end of the first quarter before falling behind 37-19 at halftime. It was 60-31 going into the final quarter.

T.J. Thomas, a 6-foot-6 junior, scored 16 points to lead the Panthers and also grabbed eight rebounds. Jalen Abraham contributed seven points and fellow senior Ishmael Martin was credited with 10 rebounds.

Parkview hopes to revive its fortunes with the return of Richardson from retirement. He was 238-127 in 17 seasons through 2000 and the Panthers won 75 games from 1992 through 1994.

Parkview reached the state quarterfinals in 1992 and reached the semifinals in 1994. But the Panthers have made the state tournament just twice since, going in 2007 and 2008 under Tim Watkins, now coach and athletics director at Archer.

Richardson takes over from Keenan Temple, who didn't have a winning season in three years and was 5-21 last season.

The first round continues on Saturday and Chattahoochee will play the Southwest DeKalb-Lassiter winner in Monday's semifinals. The other games Saturday are four-time Class AAAA state champion Miller Grove against McEachern and Greater Atlanta Christian versus Fayette County.