Home Local Sports Strong first half guides first-place Lady Raiders past Union Pines

Strong first half guides first-place Lady Raiders past Union Pines

Freshman Jamyia Lindsey (23) lays in two of her game-high 28 points in Tuesday's win over Union Pines.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The Lady Raider basketball team continued its perfect start in Sandhills Athletic Conference play on Tuesday against Union Pines High School.

Kickstarting its three-game week at home against the Lady Vikings, Richmond extended its winning streak to seven games with a 52-45 win.

Improving to an 8-0 record in conference play, the first-place Lady Raiders used a game-high 28 points from freshman point guard Jamyia Lindsey. She scored 13 points in the first half and 15 points in the final two periods.

Richmond led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but a slower second half hindered by missed opportunities on rebounds allowed the Lady Vikings to chip away at the score.

“We came out playing well with the energy we always talk about,” head coach Teddy Moseley said. “It was a tale of two halves, but it was the opposite of what we normally do. Tonight we started strong and then played flat in the second half.

“Rebounding hurt us, and we have to do a better job collecting rebounds,” he continued. “As a team, we have to want to rebound. That is a must at this point in the season.”

The Lady Raiders opened the game on an 11-0 run, including four points from senior center Jai’Maya Ratliff, who finished with 9 points. Junior wing C’Nedra Hinson hit a three-pointer for her only points of the game.

Two quick buckets from freshman Rena Drake, who had six points, made it 11-0. The run was broken for Union Pines when senior Sara Adams connected on a pair of free throws at the 4:35 mark.

Lindsey got her scoring started with two transition baskets and Richmond led 15-4 after the first.

Richmond rolled out to a 7-0 run to start the second, all coming from Lindsey. But Union Pines answered with a 7-0 run to cut its deficit to 22-11, forcing a Lady Raider timeout.

A Lindsey putback and a Ratliff three-pointer from the right corner rounded out the first-half scoring. Neither team scored in the final 3:34 of the half and Richmond led 27-15.

The Lady Vikings outscored Richmond 13-8 in the third period, using seven points from Adams and four points from senior Aaliyah Balser. Freshman Taryn Pekala added the other bucket.

Lindsey kept Richmond ahead with six more points, coming on two field goals and two free throws. Drake capped her night with a shot off the glass. Entering the fourth, Richmond’s lead was just seven points, 35-28.

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Senior Jai’Maya Ratliff (24) high-fives Jamyia Lindsey during Tuesday’s conference win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Both teams traded baskets in the final eight minutes. Lindsey scored her final nine points, including a three-pointer from the left wing. 

Sophomore forward Ryelan Lyerly scored all six of her points in the fourth, starting with a free throw and a bucket off the backboard. With 2:55 left in the game, Lyerly rattled home a three-pointer from the left corner to put Richmond up 50-35.

A 7-0 run by the Lady Vikings cut the lead to seven points, but two free throws from Ratliff put the game out of reach with 3.7 seconds left. Just prior, she grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled to go to the line.

“Jamyia Lindsey is tough, and as she goes, we go as a team,” Moseley said. “But we can’t continue to depend on her all the time. There was a big drop off between her 28 points and Jai’Maya Ratliff’s 9 points.

“There has to be more consistency and more balanced scoring. We just have to have confidence and be able to execute plays.”

The current 7-game winning streak is the longest for the Lady Raiders dating back to the 2010-11 season, which is also the last time they won a conference title. The 8-0 run to begin conference play is also the best start since that season.

Sophomore Ryelan Lyerly (33) attempts a shot in the fourth quarter of Richmond’s win on Tuesday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

“It’s important to win seven in a row and be 8-0 in the conference,” Moseley shared. “Our message before every game is us playing against the entire conference now. All of the teams are gunning for us. 

“We are going to continue to get every team’s best game no matter what. We have to be able to rise to the next level to meet those challenges.”

For the Lady Vikings (11-9, 5-4 SAC) Balser had a team-high 20 points. Adams added 19 points, including three three-pointers.

Richmond (14-4, 8-0 SAC) will return to action for the second of its three conference games this week on the road Thursday. 

The Lady Raiders will play at Southern Lee (4-10, 2-6 SAC), a team they beat 57-13 earlier in the year. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

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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.