Home Local Sports Free throws clutch for JV Raiders in OT win

Free throws clutch for JV Raiders in OT win

Amer Morrison (23) high-fives teammates Davion Ingram (35) and Ahaiver McDonald (15) after making a free throw in overtime. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Free throws haunted the Richmond junior varsity boys’ basketball team early on Tuesday before serving as the eventual game-saving shots. 

For the second straight game, the JV Raiders had to overcome a second-half deficit, this time earning an overtime win.

Starting the second round of Sandhills Athletic Conference play, the JV Raiders held off a stingy Southern Lee squad 60-56. 

In the closing 28.1 seconds of overtime, freshman Amer Morrison and sophomore Ahaiver McDonald each netted a pair of free throws to seal the win. 

Richmond outscored Southern Lee 13-9 in the extra four minutes, with nine of those points coming from the foul line. 

McDonald and freshman Terande Spencer each recorded 15 points, scoring the majority of their totals in the second half and overtime. 

Morrison also reached double digits with 13 points, and his three-pointer with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth sent the game to overtime.

Freshman Amer Morrison (23) celebrates with the bench following his game-tying three-pointer in the fourth quarter. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Opening the game on a 5-0 run, the JV Raiders took the early lead on a three-pointer from McDonald at the top of the arc. 

Fellow sophomore Ali Tyson stole the ball around midcourt and went to the hole for two points at the 5:35 mark. 

Southern Lee answered to tie the game 5-5, but a triple from Morrison along the right wing gave the JV Raiders a small lead. 

Part of a 7-2 run to close the first quarter, freshman Tate Craven and Spencer each added a bucket to extend the lead to 12-7 at the buzzer. 

Slow to start the second, Richmond lapsed into a lull and allowed seven straight points from the JV Cavaliers. Trailing 14-12, a putback by McDonald got Richmond on the board with 3:08 remaining in the period. 

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The JV Raiders’ only other points in the second came moments later when Morrison finished a fast break opportunity. Southern Lee scored four more points to take an 18-16 lead at the break. 

Free throws were a problem for the JV Raiders in the opening half, as the team missed all 10 attempts from the line. 

Richmond still trailed at the end of three quarters, 33-30. Spencer got into a rhythm and netted nine points in the period on three field goals and three free throws. 

Sophomore Keyonta Davis, who made some clutch shots down the stretch, scored the first of his nine points on a three-pointer. 

Fellow sophomore Keidreion Crump scored the first of his four points in the second half on a move under the hoop to make the deficit three points heading into the fourth. 

Sophomore Keyonta Davis makes a free throw during the overtime period in Friday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

A 5-0 run to start the final period of regulation gave the JV Raiders a lead, courtesy of a Morrison three-pointer and a shot down low from McDonald. A pair of McDonald free throws and a Davis drive made it a 39-35 lead with 3:30 to play.

Davis, McDonald and Crump combined for five more points down the stretch, setting up Morrison’s tying shot to force overtime.

A Davis free throw, two shots from Spencer at the line and another Davis drive kept the score knotted at 52 points. Spencer, who scored 13 points after halftime, added another bucket underneath.

In the closing 1:22, McDonald splashed down all four of his free throw attempts, while Morrison added a pair from the charity stripe to seal the deal.

Davis scored 9 points, Crump had 4 points and both Craven and Tyson chipped in two points.

The JV Raiders (12-1, 7-0 SAC) will return to play at home on Tuesday against Pinecrest High School. Tip-off is set for 4:30 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.