Home Local Sports Lady Raiders drop season opener to Purnell Swett

Lady Raiders drop season opener to Purnell Swett

Junior Keyoni Nichols (right) drives to the basket for two points in the first quarter. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Opening its season on Friday, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team struggled to find its offensive rhythm.

Hosting non-conference Purnell Swett High School, the Lady Raiders suffered a 76-42 loss.

“We have to get better at handling the basketball,” head coach Teddy Moseley said. “That’s the main thing. We have to find someone who can handle the ball, even if we are a young team.

“We didn’t have any scoring tonight,” he added. “There wasn’t much (Purnell Swett) did defensively tonight to slow us down, we just gave the ball away with too many unforced errors.”

A slow first quarter saw Purnell Swett jump out to a 19-4 lead in the opening eight minutes. Finding the basket one time each for the Lady Raiders were senior Nyla Stroman and junior Keyoni Nichols.

Nichols, who finished with a team-high nine points, added a pair of buckets in the second quarter. Also netting all six of her points during the second quarter was junior C’Niya Hinson.

Helping the Lady Raiders take a 32-18 deficit into the break were freshman Olivia Brown and junior Jamia Crowder, who each scored two points in the second.

Purnell Swett (1-0) used big nights from Kylie Chavis (30 points) and Nyla Mitchell (19 points) to widen its lead in the second half. Richmond trailed by as many as 24 points in the third quarter.

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Stroman added her final four points in the third on a pair of baskets, and Nichols drained a three-pointer to cap her scoring. Also hitting a three-pointer was senior C’Nedra Hinson and freshman J’Nasia Neal added a bucket.

Closing out the fourth quarter, Crowder and Brown added two more points each. Sophomore Quanna Bostick chipped in four points off the bench and C’Nedra Hinson connected on a free throw.

Natalie Evington added 15 points in the win for Purnell Swett.

“Our man defense looked okay for a while, then we just lost assignments,” Moseley closed. “That’s the youth of it. The speed of the game is much different than a lot of our girls are used to, especially with just one varsity player with experience.” 

The Lady Raiders (0-1) have the weekend to prepare for their next chance at their first win of the season, which will be a non-conference home game against Myers Park on Tuesday.

Richmond will host the Lady Mustangs for their season opener, which will begin at 6 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.