ROCKINGHAM — An uncharacteristically low-scoring performance by the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end Friday.
The top-seeded Lady Raiders fell in the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament championship to No. 2 Pinecrest 39-36.
Richmond tallied its lowest score as a team since its last loss on Dec. 30, a 32-point performance against Clover High School.
The Lady Raiders had defeated the Lady Patriots in both regular-season meetings by a combined 13 points.
Richmond also swept conference play this season, and Friday’s loss was the first against an SAC team since Feb. 15, 2021.
“It’s always tough to beat a team three times in a season,” head coach Teddy Moseley explained. “Tonight was just a battle of who wanted it more, and it came down to a couple of plays here and there.
“We got good looks, the shots just didn’t fall tonight,” he added. “We were kind of effortless, and we dug ourselves a hole early. We made a comeback in the second half, but every time we made a run we made a mistake.”
The Lady Raiders were led in scoring by senior Jai’Maya Ratliff and freshman Jamyia Lindsey, who both scored 13 points. Sophomore Ryelan Lyerly had 6 points and junior C’Nedra Hinson added the other 4 points.
Pinecrest opened the game on an 11-0 run, with senior Emmie Modlin scoring 7 of her 12 points in the game in the first quarter.
All four of Richmond’s first-quarter points came from the free throw line. Lindsey got the Lady Raiders on the board with a free throw with 1:11 remaining in the period.
Hinson added one and Lindsey knocked down two more after a foul at the buzzer to make it an 11-4 deficit.
The second quarter was more even between the two teams, but Pinecrest edged the Lady Raiders 9-7 to take a 29-21 lead into the break.
Raliff scored her first three points in the second on a free throw and a transition bucket following a steal. Hinson also had three points, coming on a triple from the right wing.
Lyerly notched her first point of the game on a free throw. Jakaya Scott netted 6 points for Pinecrest in the second, which was half of her 12 points in the win.
The Lady Raiders used an offensive push to close the gap to one possession at the start of the third quarter. An 8-2 run to kick off the second half made it a 22-19 deficit.
During that span, Ratliff had a jumper and another layup. Lindsey added the other four points on a pair of free throws and a floater in the paint.
Capping the 10-point quarter was another basket from Lindsey with just over two minutes left. Jumpers from Scott and Savanna Mcintosh gave Pinecrest a 29-21 lead.
Richmond’s highest scoring quarter was the fourth, which saw the team net 15 points. Lyerly added a jumper and a drive in the first three minutes and Lindsey had two more points in the paint.
Trailing by nine points, Ratliff hit the first of her two triples in the period to make it a 36-30 game. Two free throws from Lindsey, another by Lyerly and a three-pointer from Ratliff along the right side made it 38-36 with 10 seconds left.
Haley Kallgren connected on a free throw with 2.1 seconds remaining for Pinecrest after a foul. Richmond got the inbound pass on the floor, but was unable to attempt the game-tying shot before the final buzzer.
“Now it’s time to refocus for the playoffs,” Moseley closed. “We have to get back to working hard and we can’t let this stop us from the main goal.”
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association will complete its 2021-22 4A state playoff seedings on Saturday.
As the outright 4A SAC winner, the Lady Raiders are projected as the No. 8 seed in the 4A East despite the loss, according to High School OT.
The Richmond Observer will publish the official playoff seedings when they’re released.
2010-11 Lady Raiders recognized
During halftime on Friday, the 2010-11 Lady Raider basketball team was recognized. That team was the last one to win a conference title before this year’s team did. Former head coach Nellie Harrington and some of those players were celebrated at half court.