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Tuesday, 26 January 2021 23:27

JV Lady Raiders extend streak to 4 wins

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Freshman C'Niya Hinson (44) had 11 points in Tuesday's win over Pinecrest. Freshman C'Niya Hinson (44) had 11 points in Tuesday's win over Pinecrest. Deon Cranford - The Richmond Observer.

SOUTHERN PINES — Spreading the wealth of scoring in Tuesday’s Sandhills Athletic Conference basketball game is what helped the junior varsity Lady Raiders stay unbeaten.

On the road at Pinecrest High School, Richmond and head coach Demi Watkins improved to 4-0 with another impressive double-digit win. 

Behind 12 points from freshman Keyoni Nichols, and 11 more points from fellow freshman C’Niya Hinson, the Lady Raiders rolled Pinecrest 41-28.

For the second straight game, both Nichols and Hinson were the guiding force on offense. 

Sophomore Nyla Stroman also chipped in eight points, including two three-pointers. Watkins said she was proud of the team’s efforts to find the basket, as seven different players scored in the win.

“I love having multiple girls scoring baskets,” Watkins said following the game. “We did well with moving the ball on offense to get Hinson the ball down low and she did a great job. Our guards handled the ball well against Pinecrest’s press.”

The Lady Patriots took an early 6-5 lead at 3:08 mark of the first quarter. Both teams played aggressive on defense, but it was Nichols who managed to net seven points in the opening eight minutes for the Lady Raiders.

Nichols hit the first of her two shots from beyond the arc and added two field goals. Freshman Jasmine Jennings contributed her two points of the game to help Richmond regain the lead 9-7 at the end of one.

A fast start to the second stanza is what gave the Lady Raiders a big advantage. An 11-0 run by Richmond increased its lead to 20-7, and the score held there until the official timeout with 3:18 left in the half.

Hinson came alive in the second, scoring a team-high six points. She hit two field goals and two shots from the line. Freshman Jamia Crowder added a bucket and a free throw for three points and Stroman got on the board with her first triple.

Sophomore Deveah Robinson added her only two points before the break and Richmond entered the locker room up 23-11.

Pinecrest nearly matched Richmond in third-quarter points, netting a game-best 10 points. The Lady Raiders outpaced them with 11 points to keep up their double-digit lead.

The Lady Patriots started the frame on a 5-0 run, and also closed the quarter with four straight points. Between those runs, however, Richmond went to work on an 11-1 spurt.

Hinson capped her night with five more points in the third, draining two buckets and a free throw. Stroman struck from downtown one more time and Nichols added a bucket. 

Sophomore Joy Styles, who ended the night with three points, started with a free throw. At the end of three, Richmond held a 34-21 lead.

Seven more points in the closing eight minutes were enough to put the game away for Richmond. Nichols added a three-pointer for insurance and both Stroman and Styles added field goals.

Down the stretch, it was noted that Nichols and Styles both made several smart passes down the floor to create fastbreak opportunities for the Lady Raiders.

“Pressure on defense led to turnovers and easy layups,” Watkins said. “It was overall a good game. We are playing good team basketball right now.”

The Lady Raiders (4-0) will look to stay perfect when they host Jack Britt High School on Friday at 5 p.m.

Deon Cranford and Kyle Pillar contributed to this article.

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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