Sunday, 21 November 2021 15:06

SEASON PREVIEW: 'A lot of potential' for Lady Raiders in 2021-22

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Junior C'Nedra Hinson (12) pulls up for a shot during last Thursday's Green and Gold game. Junior C'Nedra Hinson (12) pulls up for a shot during last Thursday's Green and Gold game. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Tuesday will bring the official start of the new season for the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team, and with it, a hopeful bid to the state playoffs.


After narrowly missing out of the 4A East playoffs following last year’s COVID-shortened campaign, fourth-year head coach Teddy Moseley thinks this is the year the Lady Raiders will make it to the postseason.

“Our ultimate goal is to make the state playoffs,” Moseley said. “The last few years we have been right on the outside looking in. 

“Last year we missed the playoffs due to a game that we weren’t able to play against Hoke County due to COVID, and the year before we lost a heartbreaker to Pinecrest in the conference tournament.”

Using that as fuel to the fire, the Lady Raiders look to build off a 7-5 campaign and a fifth-place finish in the Sandhills Athletic Conference last winter.

The team has had a busy preseason to prepare for the new slate, which saw Richmond play in a jamboree at Terry Sanford and host Marlboro County last week.

Moseley noted that the current roster of 11 players has shown a lot of promise before the opener.

“After three full scrimmages, I feel this team has a lot of potential,” Moseley explained. “After a very competitive game against a very good Hoggard team, a game that we should have come out the winners, we had a lead with .09 seconds left but made a very careless mistake with a turnover that forced into OT where we lost by three. 

“Also competing strongly with a scrappy Marlboro County team, where we were up 10 until the unfortunate ending. I feel we have more positives than negatives to build upon.”

Richmond will play a full schedule, complete with non-conference games, for the first time since the 2019-2020 season. 

The Lady Raiders will also compete in their first season of the newly realigned SAC, which features familiar foes Hoke County, Pinecrest and Scotland. New additions include Lee County, Southern Lee and Union Pines.

“Having a full offseason will be very key for us,” Moseley said. “We open with a very tough opponent in Northern Guilford, and after that we face a very seasoned Uwharrie Charter team that has lots of experience. Games like this will prepare us for conference play.

“Playing in a new conference gives us somewhat of a reset, especially having basically a brand new team. It gives us a chance to establish ourselves as a top tier team in our new conference.”

Moseley noted the only major setback during the offseason was the loss of junior guard Kyla Sampson, the Lady Raiders’ “best shooter,” who tore her ACL.

The Lady Raiders are also “an extremely young team” this season, and will see two freshmen, two sophomores and one senior in the starting lineup.

That senior is forward Jamiya Ratliff, who averaged 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season. As one of two seniors, and a four-year varsity player, she hopes to embrace a leadership role in 2021-22.

“I want to step up and be the best player I can be and lead everyone in the right direction,” Ratliff said. “We have a young team and me and the other older players want to help out any way we can.

“I also like to talk to the girls individually,” she added. “If they’re not making shots or are down, I encourage them to keep going and let them know we still have it. I try to spread that energy around to the whole team.”

Also in the starting rotation will be freshman point guard Jamyia Lindsey and freshman forward Rena Drake. 

“Jamiya will be very important this year, being a four year varsity player, coupled with the addition of Jamyia Lindsey and fellow freshman Rena Drake,” Moseley said. “We are definitely building for the future. 

“Having Jamyia Lindsey gives us the guard that can get a basket at any given time, as well as get others involved. Rena Drake has a basketball IQ well beyond her years. Having two freshmen that are equal to having two coaches on the floor will bode very well for us.”

Helping fill the void left by Sampson’s injury will be sophomore guard Keyoni Nichols and sophomore forward Ryelan Lyerly, who also picked up significant minutes as a freshman. Lyerly averaged 3.1 points per game last season.

Moseley called Nichols a “defensive specialist,” and added that Lyerly’s outside shooting skills will benefit the Lady Raiders’ offense. 

“A lot of us grew up together playing AAU ball and we have a lot of chemistry,” Lyerly said. “We work well together, even playing middle school ball against each other, and that’s going to help us this year.

“Playing good defense is important, especially as a young team,” she added. “Getting the ball into the basket will help, and we have a lot of good shooters.”

Other players Moseley hopes will contribute this season are seniors Mariah Waddell and Miccah Wall, juniors C’Nedra Hinson, Nyla Stroman and Joy Styles and sophomore C’Niya Hinson.

The Lady Raiders will travel to non-conference Northern Guilford High School on Tuesday to start their season. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will continue its coverage of the Richmond varsity and junior varsity girls’ basketball teams this winter.

Below is the complete 2021-22 schedule for the Richmond girls’ varsity basketball team. Home games are bold and conference games are denoted with an asterisk.

Tuesday, Nov. 23 @ Northern Guilford, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 30 @ Uwharrie Charter, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 3 vs. Pine Forest, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 7 vs. Southern Lee, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Dec. 10 vs. Pinecrest, 6 p.m. *

Thursday, Dec. 16 - Saturday, Dec. 18 Gil Bowman Classic (TBD)

Tuesday, Dec. 28 - Thursday, Dec. 30 Cherokee Classic (TBD)

Tuesday, Jan. 4 @ Hoke County, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Jan. 7 @ Union Pines, 6 p.m. *

Tuesday, Jan. 11 vs. Lee County, 6 p.m. *

Tuesday, Jan. 18 @ Scotland, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Jan. 21 @  Southern Lee, 6 p.m. *

Tuesday, Jan. 25 @ Pinecrest, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Jan. 28 vs. Hoke County, 6 p.m. *

Tuesday, Feb. 1 vs. Union Pines, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Feb. 4 @ Lee County, 6 p.m. *

Friday, Feb. 11 vs. Scotland, 6 p.m. *

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association 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_