Home Local Sports Quick Hits: No. 2 Richmond hosts No. 15 Sanderson in second round

Quick Hits: No. 2 Richmond hosts No. 15 Sanderson in second round

Senior Dakota Chavis (right) blocks a shot during the first half of Tuesday's playoff win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Round two of the NCHSAA 4A East playoffs will feature the No. 2 Richmond Raiders and No. 15 Sanderson Spartans on Thursday.

Currently on a program record 17-game winning streak, the Raiders will look to return to at least the third round for the second straight season.

Head coach Donald Pettigrew noted Sanderson carries a lot of similarities to conference opponent Pinecrest High School.

“(Sanderson) is like a little bit better version of Pinecrest,” Pettigrew said. “They play a lot of 4-out, 1-in on offense to spread the floor, which is a lot like us. We know they like to penetrate and try to find their open shooters.

“Their point guard (Nathan Fife) is their best player and he can really control the tempo,” he added. “We have to check him and limit their plays. They have one big (Jay Peterson) who is just a taller version of Zion (Baldwin), and on defense they play a lot of man.”


When it comes down to it, Pettigrew said the Raiders need to stick to what they’ve done all season to try and earn another win.

“We just need to do what we do best and continue to play our kind of ball,” Pettigrew shared. “If we can force an upbeat tempo and hurry them up a little bit, that should lead to some runs for us on offense.”

Below are some quick hits about the Sanderson Spartans:

  • The Spartans are coached by Roy Roberson, have lost two of their last three games and have a 9-2 record on the road this season. 
  • Sanderson defeated No. 18 Chapel Hill 53-48 in the first round, erasing a six-point halftime deficit on Tuesday.
  • Finished second in the CAP 6 Conference standings in the regular season, a game behind Cardinal Gibbons.
  • Average 56.2 points per game, while allowing 49.3 points against. Richmond averages 78.8 points per game and allows 52.8 points per four quarters.
  • Sophomore guard Nathan Fife leads the team with 20.6 points per game and brings in 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
  • Senior guard Tommy Lyons (11.0 PPG) and junior forward Patrick Dalton (9.9 PPG) are two other starters who average nearly 30 minutes a game.
  • Senior center Jay Peterson (6-foot-6) is the Spartans’ leading rebounder just ahead of Fife (5.8 RPG). Sophomore forward Gordie Balas rounds out the starting five with 5.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG.
  • Against Chapel Hill, Dalton had 13 points and Fife finished with 11 points after being limited to just two points in the first half.
  • Richmond stacks up better in total rebounds per game (35.8), assists per game (20.2) and steals per game (12.6) than Sanderson (25.1, 10.3 and 5.9).

Tip-off between Richmond (24-2) and Sanderson (20-7)  is set for 6:30 p.m. in Raider Gymnasium. 

Follow The Richmond Observer on Twitter @ROSports_ for live updates.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.