Home Local Sports SEASON PREVIEW: Lady Raiders seeking second straight conference championship in 2022-23

SEASON PREVIEW: Lady Raiders seeking second straight conference championship in 2022-23

Coach Teddy Moseley watches as freshman J'Nasia Neal inbounds the ball to junior Makailah Jackson during a practice last week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Although things may look a little different as a new season of Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball approaches, the Lady Raiders are dialed in to try and repeat their success from a season ago.

The team’s best season in the last decade, the Lady Raiders notched 20 wins last winter, won their first Sandhills Athletic Conference championship in 11 years and made it to the second round of the 4A state playoffs.

Much of that driving force was point guard Jamyia Lindsey, who had a breakout freshman season. 

But the reigning SAC “Player of the Year” who averaged 24 points per game will miss the entirety of her sophomore campaign due to a leg injury she suffered over the summer.

While fifth-year head coach Teddy Moseley noted that the loss of Lindsey, along with former starters Jai’Maya Ratliff (All-SAC, graduation) and senior Kyla Sampson (leg injury), is a tough blow, he said the new season is just that — a fresh start to continue the growth of the program.

The Lady Raiders will enter the 2022-23 season with a younger, less experienced roster than it had last winter, but several key players also return with varsity experience.

Among them are seniors C’Nedra Hinson (point guard) and Nyla Stroman (forward), along with junior forward C’Niya Hinson. The other 10 players are a combination of underclassmen making the jump to the varsity level this year.

C’Nedra Hinson has served as a top defender the past two seasons, while also averaging just under 4 points per game as a junior. Stroman made 23 appearances last season and notched 2 points per game, but again was a big helper on defense.

Five juniors will join the mix, including Jamia Crowder (forward), Elise Dimery (center), Makailah Jackson (center), Yasmeen McLaughlin (guard) and Keyoni Nichols (guard). 

Sophomores Quanna Bostic (guard) and Simone Terry (forward) add depth, while freshmen guards Olivia Brown and J’Nasia Neal, along with center Ella Parker, will help the team.

A starting lineup hasn’t been established yet this season, but Moseley has been working players in different roles through a series of preseason scrimmages. The Lady Raiders will use a mixture of size, speed and physicality to set the tone this season.

Moseley said some of the big keys to success will be playing sound defense on a nightly basis and being able to control the aspects of the game the Lady Raiders expect to control, like making open baskets and remaining positive.

The main thing, however, is Moseley hopes to see the Lady Raiders remain “competitive” both in and out of conference.

Richmond won the SAC title outright last season, finishing a perfect 12-0 against conference opponents. Repeating as conference champion is a goal the Lady Raiders would like to accomplish, but Moseley expects the likes of Pinecrest and Union Pines to give the team a run for the crown.

In the 4A East playoffs, the Lady Raiders showed promise last year as a No. 8 seed and making it to the second round. Despite not having the same lineup, Moseley believes returning to the postseason is an attainable goal over the next few months.

The Lady Raiders will officially open their regular season on Friday at home against non-conference Purnell Swett High School. Opening tip is set for 6 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will continue its coverage of the Richmond girls’ varsity basketball team this winter. There is no junior varsity basketball team this season.

Below is the complete 2022-23 schedule for the Lady Raiders. Home games are bold and conference contests are marked with an asterisk.

Nov. 18 vs. Purnell Swett

Nov. 22 vs. Myers Park

Nov. 23 vs. Jack Britt

Nov. 29 vs. Northern Guilford

Nov. 30 @ Purnell Swett

Dec. 2 vs. Uwharrie Charter Academy

Dec. 9 @ Pinecrest *

Dec. 13 @ Southern Lee *

Dec. 14 @ Pine Forest

Dec. 20-22 Holiday Tournament, TBD

Jan. 3 vs. Hoke County *

Jan. 6 vs. Union Pines *

Jan. 10 @ Lee County *

Jan. 14 vs. Fayetteville Christian

Jan. 17 vs. Scotland *

Jan. 20 vs. Southern Lee *

Jan. 24 vs. Pinecrest *

Jan. 27 @ Hoke County *

Jan. 31 @ Union Pines *

Feb. 3 vs. Lee County *

Feb. 10 @ Scotland *

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-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.