ROCKINGHAM — Emerging as the go-to point guard during the last three games, junior basketball player Keyoni Nichols has been named the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55.
The Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team continued to show improvement in Sandhills Athletic Conference play, notching two wins in three tries last week.
Nichols also had a career performance during Friday’s victory, helping her earn her second career recognition this season.
Winter Sport: Basketball
Years on Varsity: 1 Year
Other Sports: Volleyball, Softball
“CAREER HIGH” WITH KEYONI NICHOLS
Richmond bookended last week’s three games with a pair of wins over Hoke County and Union Pines high school, while dropping a road game at Pinecrest.
As a season of development continues, so does the improvement by Nichols and the Lady Raiders. During the three games, Nichols led the team in scoring with 9.7 points per game.
In Tuesday’s 42-39 win over the Lady Bucks, Nichols scored all five of her points in the first half, which led to an eight-point lead at the break. She hit a three-pointer at the top of the arc on Richmond’s first possession and added a transition layup to close the first half.
A night later at Pinecrest, Nichols scored five more points in a 54-34 loss. She drove the lane for two points in the second quarter and added a free throw and shot under the basket in the third period.
Her best performance was Friday’s 39-38 victory over Union Pines, which saw her net a career-high 19 points. Her previous best was 14 points in the team’s season opener.
Nichols scored six points in the first quarter to lead the team to an early 10-6 lead. A baseline drive on the first possession was followed by a pair of transition layups.
She followed with seven points in the second quarter, adding four fast points on a mid-range jumper and another drive below the hoop. Her final points in the half came on the first of three straight three-pointers, helping cut the team’s deficit to a point at the break.
Nichols ended her career night with six more points in the third period, a pair of triples from the top of the arc. The first one regained the lead early in the quarter and the other captured a 29-27 lead with two minutes to go.
The Lady Raiders (5-8, 3-1 SAC) return to action with an away game at Lee County High School (9-2, 2-1 SAC) on Tuesday. Play will begin at 6 p.m.
RAPID RESPONSE VIDEO WITH KEYONI NICHOLS
In her video interview, Nichols discusses her career-high performance, the Lady Raiders trending in the right direction in conference play and which celebrity she’d like to meet.
The Richmond Observer will publish its Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week soon.