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Five double-digit scorers pace Raiders to season-high point total in win over Rams

Senior Zion Baldwin (4) finishes an alley-oop from Javian Drake (3) in the third quarter. Paul McNeil Jr. (2) had 30 points. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

PEMBROKE — It was deja vu for the Richmond boys’ basketball team on Wednesday, as it completed the season sweep of Purnell Swett High School.

Like the Raiders did in their season opener on Nov. 18, they rolled past the Rams 92-61 to extend their current winning streak to three games.

Earning its second victory in as many nights, and eclipsing the 90-point threshold for the second consecutive game, Richmond relied on five double-digit scorers.

Notching another double-double was junior Paul McNeil Jr., who led all scorers with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He finished the game 11-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-6 from three-point land.

Also reaching double figures for the Raiders were juniors Javian Drake (15 points) and Jullien Cole (12 points), along with senior Dakota Chavis and freshman Jayden Hamilton (both with 11 points).

Senior Zion Baldwin contributed nine points and six rebounds and junior wing Dylan Lampley scored two points to go with his six boards. Junior David McNair was the eighth Raider to score, finishing with two points.

Using another fast-paced start and a 19-2 run in the opening quarter, Richmond set the tone early. Chavis had seven of those points on a three-pointer, a pair of free throws and a drive through the lane.

McNeil got his night started with five points in the opening four minutes, knocking down a mid-range jumper and a three-ball from the left corner. A breakaway jam from Baldwin and five points from Drake opened the lead.

Trailing 15-0, Purnell Swett (0-4) got on the board thanks to a bucket by Marcus Lowry at the 2:44 mark. Four points from Adarius Grissett rounded out the Rams’ six first-quarter points.


Closing the final 2:20 of the opening period on an 8-2 run, Richmond got points from Drake, McNeil, Cole and Hamilton. 

Senior Dakota Chavis drives the lane for two of his seven points in the first quarter. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

A more competitive second quarter saw Richmond outscore the Rams 17-16. McNeil started the frame with a deep three-pointer and added the free throw chance afterward. Two points each from Chavis, Drake and Cole made it a 30-point lead, 38-8.

Following a Purnell Swett timeout, the Rams went on a 14-7 run. Another triple from McNeil from the left wing, two Cole free throws and a Baldwin baseline drive gave Richmond a 45-22 lead at the break.

An acrobatic alley-oop from Drake to Baldwin kickstarted the third quarter for Richmond, which put up another 24 points from five players. McNeil led the way with nine points in the period.

Baldwin capped his performance with five points on two field goals and a free throw, Drake netted four points and both Cole and Hamilton splashed down a three-pointer.

The Rams continued to put up a fight in the second half, netting 21 points in the third quarter, led by Collin Sampson’s six points. Grissett added five more of his team-high 17 points and Lowry knocked in the final four of his six points.

Freshman Jayden Hamilton lays in two of his 11 points, which tied a career-high. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

McNeil netted two more field goals and his final three-pointer to give him a season-high 30 points. Hamilton used his defensive skills to force three turnovers and converted them into easy transition buckets for six more points.

Cole added four more points and Chavis, Lampley and McNair secured the win with two points each.

Improving to 5-1, the Raiders will play another non-conference game at home against Uwharrie Charter Academy (1-1) on Friday. Action will get started at 7:30 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.