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PHOTOS: 4A state championship game

The Raiders huddle together during the first half of Saturday's 4A state championship game. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

CHAPEL HILL — The  2022-23 basketball season didn’t end the way the Richmond Raiders wanted it to, but the team fought until the final buzzer during Saturday’s 4A state championship.

With the majority of the lower bowl at the Dean E. Smith Center packed with Richmond fans clad in gold, the support never wavered despite the Raiders falling 74-60 to Myers Park High School.

A magical season for the Raiders saw the team finish 28-3 and make the school’s fourth appearance in the state title game.

Paul McNeil Jr. scored a team-high 21 points and added six rebounds. Javian Drake scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, as did Jamarian Wall with his six points.

Zion Baldwin finished with nine points and five boards, Jullien Cole scored seven points and added a team-high seven rebounds and Dakota Chavis netted seven points.


McNeil Jr. was named the Raiders’ “Most Outstanding Player” following the game, and senior Dakota Chavis earned the “Outstanding Sportsmanship Award” prior to tip-off.

Head coach Donald Pettigrew, who led his alma mater to the state finals for the first time since he was a player in 1997, said a slow second quarter was the difference maker.

Richmond earned its fourth career state-runner up award, adding to the work done by the 1988, 1996 and 1997 teams.

Read the complete game story, including the medal ceremony and a postgame press conference with Pettigrew and McNeil Jr. here.

Below are photos from Saturday’s 4A state championship, taken by sports editor Kyle Pillar.

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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.