Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:07

BREAKING: SAC releases modified basketball schedule

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ROCKINGHAM — Following three days of meetings between the eight athletic directors of the Sandhills Athletic Conference, a modified schedule for the high school basketball season has been released.

During the first two weeks of the season, several of the eight schools in the SAC have seen COVID-19 protocols postpone or cancel games for both the girls’ and boys’ teams. Currently, the boys’ teams at Purnell Swett and Scotland high schools are quarantined through Jan. 23.

Richmond Senior High School hasn’t had a player or coach test positive during the regular season, but the Raiders and Lady Raiders have seen the last two games impacted by the virus. 

Last Friday’s games at Pinecrest High School were canceled as a combination of COVID protocols and inclement weather, and Tuesday’s home openers were canceled against Jack Britt High School. These games will not be made up at a later date.

According to Rob Ransom, Richmond’s athletic director, the modified season for the SAC will officially begin the second round of conference play on Jan. 22. The new slate will feature a seven-game conference schedule plus a conference tournament following the conclusion of the regular season.

“There are so many teams and players who are in quarantine right now and this new schedule is the best way we could try and make it a fair season for everyone,” Ransom explained. “It’s crazy and I’ve never seen anything like this, but we want everyone to get in as many games as they can.”

Both Richmond varsity teams have played one game this season (at Purnell Swett) and will play two more games in the coming week that will be counted as “non-conference games,” despite being against conference opponents.

The Raiders and Lady Raiders are expected to host Hoke County High School on Friday, and travel to Lumberton High School next Tuesday. Both of those games will be counted as a part of the teams’ overall winning percentage, but not impact the SAC’s standings, which will be reset and start again on Jan. 22.

As a result of the new schedule, Richmond will see several games of the original 14-game schedule canceled. The boys and girls will not play previously scheduled games against Pinecrest, Jack Britt, Seventy-First or Scotland, Ransom confirmed.

“All games leading up to Jan. 22 will be considered non-conference,” Ransom explained. “Teams must have five games in the bag to be considered the No. 1 seed in the (conference) tournament.

“The No. 1 seed will receive the conference’s No. 1 berth in the NCHSAA playoffs,” he added. “And the conference tournament will determine the remaining seeds, so teams can still have a chance to play themselves into the playoffs.”

With all the uncertainty surrounding games during the past week, that hasn’t stopped Richmond’s programs from continuing to practice. Lady Raider head coach Teddy Moseley and Raider head coach Donald Pettigrew have carried on like usual, and both coaches said it was imperative to keep things as close to normal as possible for the players.

“It’s been frustrating because we’ve been practicing all week and then when it’s time to play we’re told we can’t,” Moseley said. “We didn’t have a good practice Monday and I told the girls I understand where they're coming from. And they came back and had a tremendous practice on Tuesday.

“Right now we have got to stay focused and be ready to come back strong,” he added. “The girls know we need to stay the course and be prepared for when we do get to play. We know this is happening for the health and safety of everyone, and the girls are relishing every moment.”

Moseley’s team is 0-1 after dropping a road game to the Lady Rams. But he expects the Lady Raiders to be competitive with the additions of Jakerra Covington and Allyiah Swiney, two starters who are joining the team after volleyball season.

From the start of the season, Pettigrew has been keen on making sure all of his players, but especially his four seniors, are getting a chance to finish their careers with as many games as possible. Of the new schedule, Pettigrew said the team, which is 1-0, is taking it for what it’s worth.

“It is what it is, but I’m glad they’re still trying to let us play,” Pettigrew said of the SAC’s decision. “They could have shut everything down, but I’m really happy that our seniors will get the chance to get a couple more games in.

“The guys are good and have been competing hard every day at practice,” he added of the state of the Raiders. “They’re resting their bodies for Friday. We’ve been disappointed we haven’t been able to play, but we’re patient and we’re waiting for our next opportunity.”

NOTE: Below is a layout of the new schedule for both of Richmond’s varsity and junior varsity teams. There are only four teams in the SAC with a junior varsity girls team this season, which is why the JV Lady Raiders have fewer games.


Last modified on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:20
Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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