SANFORD — Extending its winning streak to four games to start the season, the Richmond junior varsity boys’ basketball team defeated Southern Lee High School on Thursday.
Starting Sandhills Athletic Conference play, the JV Raiders returned to the court for the first time since Dec. 2 and overcame a little rust against the JV Cavaliers.
Thanks to a clutch three-pointer and some timely free throws late in the game, the JV Raiders earned a 51-44 victory.
Like they have in all of their wins, the JV Raiders used a quick start to jump ahead in the opening eight minutes.
Richmond sandwiched runs of 11-0 and 7-0 around a six-point spurt by the JV Cavs to take an 18-6 lead after the first.
Sophomore guard Keidreion Crump started the big run with the first of his six points, laying in the opening basket off the tip. Fellow sophomore Raymond Knotts added a close-range bucket.
Going on a 7-0 run by himself was sophomore guard Keyonta Davis, who hit two buckets and added a three-pointer from the top of the arc to make it 11-0.
Southern Lee (5-1, 0-1 SAC) got on the board at the 4:03 mark thanks to a free throw and chipped away to make it an 11-6 deficit.
Knotts ended the threat with a step-back triple, starting the JV Raiders seven-point run to close the final two minutes.
Sophomore Ahaiver McDonald, who ended with a team-high 15 points, hit a putback and a pair of free throws.
The momentum shifted a little more in the JV Cavs’ favor in the second quarter, who outscored Richmond 12-9.
McDonald helped keep the Raiders ahead 29-18 at the break with six more points. Crump netted another two points and freshman Zamarion Robinson knocked down a trio of shots from the line.
Head coach Josh Calhoun noted the JV Raiders “responded to adversity” in the second half when Richmond was outscored 17-8 in the third quarter and fell behind for the first time.
Out of the break, Southern Lee went on a 14-0 run though the first 2:49 to take a 32-29 lead.
Robinson, who netted five points in the win, stopped the bleeding with a putback with 4:52 left in the third. Davis knotted the game at 32 points with a free throw on the next possession.
Sophomore Ali Tyson provided some energy off the bench, scoring Richmond’s final five points in the half. He hit a baseline floater with under a minute left.
Freshman Amer Morrison forced a double dribble on defense, which led to a turnover. On the inbound, Tyson drained a triple at the buzzer to make it a 37-35 lead.
Battling for much of the fourth quarter, the Raiders used points from four different players to secure the win.
Falling behind 41-39 with 5:30 to play, McDonald gave the Raiders their final lead of the night with a three-pointer from the right wing to make it a one-point advantage.
Morrison, who scored all four of his points in the final stanza, notched a pair of free throws to extend the lead. Down the stretch, Davis added the final three of his 11 points, McDonald hit two free throws and Crump laid in a transition bucket.
The JV Raiders (4-0, 1-0 SAC) will play in the Holiday in the Pines tournament at Pinecrest High School over the break. Game times and opponents are to be determined.