ROCKINGHAM — The new basketball season started just the way the Richmond Raiders wanted it to on Friday.
Kicking off their 2022-23 campaign on their home floor, the Raiders set the tone early en route to an 81-45 victory over non-conference Purnell Swett High School.
In front of a full gymnasium to open their season, the Raiders used four double-digit scorers, including a game-high 20 points from junior Jullien Cole. Making his debut for the Raiders, Cole added seven rebounds.
Also adding big chunks of scoring were junior Javian Drake (15 points), senior Dakota Chavis (13 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds) and junior Dylan Lampley (13 points, 7 rebounds), who also played his first game for the green and gold.
On Richmond’s first possession, Chavis drove the lane and kissed the glass for two easy points, igniting a 17-3 run for a majority of the first quarter. Drake added the next four points on a pair of transition buckets and Cole got on the board with a triple from the top of the arc.
Leading 9-3, another Drake layup was followed by one free throw each from senior Zion Baldwin (5 points, team-high 10 boards) and sophomore Raymond Knotts (3 points).
Freshman Jayden Hamilton joined the scoring parade with a bucket, the first of his four points, and another Drake drive capped the big run. Purnell Swett (0-1) closed on a 5-0 run on a couple of shots from Chase McNeill.
The Raiders’ highest-scoring quarter was the second stanza, which saw them put up 24 points to the Rams’ 15 points. Like he did to start the game, Chavis weaved through the paint for the team’s first points in the second.
Junior Toby McInnis, one of nine Raiders to find the basket in the win, drained a triple for his lone bucket to extend the lead to 12 points. Seven combined points from Chavis, Cole and Drake led to the next six points scored by Lampley.
Going to the hole for a pair of layups, Lampley made it a 33-20 lead when he connected on both ends of his free throw attempts with under two minutes before the half.
A layup from Cole was followed by a pair of one-handed jams by Cole and Baldwin in the closing 30 seconds. Richmond led 41-23 at the break.
Keeping the momentum in their favor, the Raiders outscored the Rams 22-10 in the third quarter and opened their lead to 30 points. Chavis led the way with his final seven points, including a three-ball.
Also scoring in the third were Cole and Drake, who each connected on a three-pointer and a field goal. Lampley also splashed down a triple and junior Jamarion Wall notched the first of his five points on a drive in the closing two minutes.
Six different Raiders found the basket in the final stanza, led by Cole’s final five points. Lampley added a field goal and two free throws to cap his scoring and Wall added a bucket and a free throw.
Buckets from Knotts and Hamilton were followed by a tip from Baldwin, which put the Raiders up 41 points.
Leading the Rams in scoring was Collin Sampson, who scored 12 points in the loss. McNeill added 8 points, Connor Harris had 6 points and Kollin Locklear chipped in 5 points.
The Raiders (1-0) will return to the court for another non-conference home game on Tuesday against Myers Park High School.
It will be the Mustangs’ first game of the season and play is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.