ROCKINGHAM – In a game that saw the Richmond Raiders Lady Raiders varsity basketball team trail for the majority of the time, it was the double digit turnovers in each half that wouldn’t allow the Lady Raiders to close the gap in a 62-52 loss to Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent Pinecrest High School Friday night.
Richmond started out strong with senior center Saleema Brown scoring eight points in the first half, including the team’s first six points, but costly turnovers and poor shooting on offense caused the Lady Raiders to stare down a 30-21 deficit going into half.
“Protecting the basketball is something that we’ve worked on since the season started,” said head coach Rosalind McDonald. “Unfortunately, tonight we weren’t able to do that, but they continued to fight, and that’s what we always tell them.”
Sophomore guard Keionna Love attempted to bring the Lady Raiders back single-handedly, scoring 10 of her team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter.
But it wouldn’t be enough as Pinecrest (7-0, 2-0 SAC) would use the lack of a shot clock to play keep-away from the Lady Raider defense. After having to foul to try and get the ball back, Pinecrest made enough free throws down the stretch to put Richmond away.
Richmond’s Taliah Wall (4) goes up for a basket Friday night.
“Of course we’re disappointed about the loss, but the girls fought hard and they didn’t give up,” said McDonald. “Keionna especially showed up tonight. That’s something we hadn’t seen yet, but we’re going to need that when we get into more conference games next week.”
Richmond (1-3, 1-1 SAC) will hit the road for its third SAC game of the season against Jack Britt High School on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Fayetteville.