Tuesday, 26 January 2021 21:03

Lady Raiders' streak ends, struggle late against Pinecrest

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Jayla McDougald powers past Emmie Modlin (24) for two of her 18 points in Tuesday's loss. Jayla McDougald powers past Emmie Modlin (24) for two of her 18 points in Tuesday's loss. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Despite maintaining leads at halftime and the end of the third quarter, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team saw its three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday.


Richmond played host to Pinecrest High School in the team’s second Sandhills Athletic Conference game of the season. Getting outscored by eight points in the final stanza, the Lady Raiders dropped a 60-53 decision.

Head coach Teddy Moseley said the Lady Raiders’ lack of execution down the stretch, and not being able to fulfill their defensive game plan, were the reasons for the loss. 

“It was a tough loss and it came down to a lack of execution,” Moseley said. “Pinecrest wanted it more than we did and we didn’t fight. We made a lot of excuses tonight and our defense wasn’t good.

“There was no communication on defense,” he added. “Players didn’t do their individual job and that hurt us. Pinecest got way too many easy baskets because we didn’t rotate, and we did nothing we worked on in practice. They worked harder than us, got to loose balls, and we were two steps behind them every play on offense and defense.”

Moseley noted that Pinecrest “looks to play inside out and flash their bigs and kick it out.” Richmond’s plan to combat that was to not let the bigs catch the ball in the middle, but Moseley said every person he put in there wasn’t able to do that. 

The Lady Raiders were led offensively by senior point guard Jayla McDougald, who netted a team-high 18 points on 3-of-7 from downtown and 5-of-16 shooting. Junior Jamiya Ratliff also reached double figures, scoring 14 points, including nine points in the second half.

Senior forward Jakerra Covington matched the physicality brought in by Pinecrest’s bigs, and led the team with 11 rebounds. She also scored nine points in the loss.

After going down three points to start the game, Covington sparked a 10-0 run by Richmond. A shot off the glass by Covington was followed by a triple from McDougald from the right wing. 

Covington hit a free throw and drained a mid-range jumper in the next minute, and junior guard Allyiah Swiney capped the run with a drive through the paint to extend the lead to 10-3.

Another McDougald three-pointer a couple plays later gave Richmond its largest lead of the night, 13-5. She added a jumper and a free throw in the final 3:45 of play, but Pinecrest outdid the Lady Raiders with a 13-6 run to finish the first tied at 16 points.

Pinecrest’s Brittany Sparrow had seven points in the opening frame and would finish with a game-high 21 points. Teammate Emmie Modlin started with four of her 20 points in the first eight minutes.

A 7-2 run to open the first four minutes of the second quarter saw the Lady Raiders regain the lead. Ratliff kicked things off with a deep two from the left wing and followed with the first of her two triples from the left corner.

Senior Davionna Campbell muscled her way through the lane for two points and Richmond led 23-18 with 4:10 on the clock.

A putback by Modlin with two minutes left in the half put the Lady Patriots up for the first time since the opening minute of the game, and the two teams would battle to two more ties in the final minutes. 

McDougald hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 26 points, and Covington added two more points on a jumper near the top of the key. With time winding inside five seconds. McDougald hit a dagger from three-point land to secure a 31-30 lead at the break.

“My job was to get a lot of rebounds tonight and compete against their bigs,” Covington said. “We wanted to be aggressive in the middle because we knew what we were facing. It was just a lack of execution and little things that stopped us tonight.

“I was able to communicate with my guards tonight and that helped me score,” she added. “Jayla and I have this connection, and she gives me the eye, so I know how to read what’s going on.”

Both teams struggled to find the basket out of the locker room to start the third. Senior Asia Douglas hit a triple from the left wing for Richmond in the first 20 seconds, but the Lady Raiders’ next basket wouldn’t come until the 3:05 mark thanks to a Ratliff three-pointer.

To maintain possession, Moseley called a timeout with 1:42 left in the third with his team up 37-36. Ratliff would score Richmond’s next four points on a jumper and a shot off the glass from underneath, and McDougald made an athletic spinning, off-balanced basket with 15 seconds to put the Lady Raiders up 43-42 after three complete.

The final eight minutes saw the Lady Patriots outscore Richmond 18-10. Sparrow went on an 8-1 run by herself, driving through the paint to put Pinecrest (3-3, 1-1 SAC)  up 52-49 with 2:15 to play.

Single free throws from Covington, Campbell and Douglas in the final 90 seconds wasn’t enough for Richmond. Jakaya Scott hit four free throws for Pinecrest and Modlin and Aniyah Jackson both added insurance points to earn the win.

“We forced the ball to Jayla way too much and we had other people open who didn't take the shot,” Moseley explained. “That needs to happen to take the pressure off of Jayla. 

“We can’t settle and we need to keep working hard,” he closed. “We have to take responsibility and accountability. When times are down, that’s when we show what kind of a team we are, and tonight we quit.”

Covington said the team doesn’t like the feeling of losing, especially a pivotal conference game, and said the Lady Raiders will need to “work even harder” to get back into the win column.

Richmond (3-2, 1-1 SAC) will travel to Jack Britt High School (1-0) on Friday for another SAC contest. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. Tip is set for 5 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

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

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_