Richard Reid was happy and relieved.
He was happy to have ended the day with a win, and he was relieved to have ended a day of attention focused on him.
“I’m glad it’s over with,” Reid said. “I’m ready to just play ball.”
Reid had little suspense to deal with in racking up his 1,000th career win as a high school coach as Tattnall pulled away in the second half for a 76-42 win over-Macon Area Christian on Friday night.
The Trojans were sluggish in the first half, and the Cougars came back from 12-0 and 29-12 deficits to pull within 10 late in the second quarter half and settled for a 12-point halftime deficit.
But it was Reid’s night, and the Trojans scored on seven straight possessions in the third quarter to take control and cruise.
Faren Harris led Tattnall with 15 points while Kayla Steele had 14, Peaches Campbell 12 and Shanice Stanley 10.
Rebecca Braswell topped Macon Area with 18 while Rachel Rodney added 11.
Even before the final buzzer, Tattnall players started putting on blue T-shirts commemorating the milestone. On the front, it noted the cost of a quarter of tuition at Mercer when Reid started, $315. Then it listed his yearly salary at the time of his first game, $3,700.
And the last line: “1,000 career wins, January 15, 2010 … Priceless.”
About 10 former players joined the postgame celebration, during which Reid dug himself a hole by calling Sally Whicker (Brown) “one of the old-timers.”
“I probably shouldn’t have said that; we’re such good friends,” Reid said later with a sheepish grin. “But I’m just so pleased that so many of the older players came out.”
The soft-spoken coach took the microphone for a few minutes after being handed the game ball by Tattnall athletics director Jeff Ratliff.
”We’re real proud of you; we love you,” Ratliff said, “and we’re glad you’re our coach.”
Even MAC head coach Keith Braswell had a connection to Reid’s early days. His wife Marsha is the niece of Edna Murphy, who played for Reid at Jones County and was on hand.
“It was a pleasure and an honor to be present and in the gym with a legend like this gentlemen,” Braswell said.
Braswell said Reid showed up for an MAC game when the recent threat of bad weather led to massive cancellations.
“He came over and sat behind me,” Braswell said. “I said, ‘Why don’t you just take my spot?’ “
The blue T-shirts were a surprise, courtesy of Kyle Steele, Tattnall’s girls scorekeeper and father of Kayla.
“I didn’t know anything about them,” Reid said. “I’m glad I got one.”
There will likely be more available when Tattnall officially dedicates “Richard Reid Court” on Feb. 2 when Stratford visits.
“I’ll have to go through all this again, I guess,” Reid said. “But that’s a big game.”
It’ll be big for the boys as well. Tattnall picked up the non-conference win by a 64-45 margin over Macon Area, leading 15-2 after a quarter and 37-16 at halftime.
The Trojans improved to 10-4 behind four players in double figures.
Andrew Layson’s 15 paced the Trojans. DeAndre Smelter had 14 and Tattnall got 10 each from Keaton Williams and Brandon Hinson.
Brannon Hunt led MAC, which outscored Tattnall 29-27 in the second half, with 18 while Brent Hamilton added 10.