Tuesday, 07 December 2021 22:29

Transition defense key for Lady Raiders in conference-opening win

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Juniors C'Nedra Hinson (12) and Joy Styles (14) apply defensive pressure in Tuesday's win over Southern Lee. Juniors C'Nedra Hinson (12) and Joy Styles (14) apply defensive pressure in Tuesday's win over Southern Lee. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Using another dominant performance as a unit, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team extended its winning streak to three games on Tuesday.

Opening Sandhills Athletic Conference play at home against Southern Lee High School, the Lady Raiders beat the Lady Cavaliers 57-13 behind a running clock. 

Taking advantage of Southern Lee’s slow offensive performance, the Lady Raiders jumped out to a 34-5 halftime lead. A total of eight Lady Raiders scored in the win, which was a season-high for the team.

Head coach Teddy Moseley said part of Richmond’s game plan was to attack the basket early and force turnovers using the press. 

“It’s good to be on the winning side to start the conference this year, and we wanted to take advantage of tonight’s opportunity,” Moseley said. “We wanted to defend our home floor, and any time we can do that, that’s a plus.

“We got off to a really good start and we wanted to speed (Southern Lee) up a little bit and get them out of their comfort zone,” he added. “We were able to do that in the first half, and running the trap early led to us forcing a lot of turnovers.”

Moseley noted that with his team being “undersized,” creating opportunities in the transition game will be a key component moving forward.

Freshman Jamyia Lindsey steals the ball, leading to a transition basket in the first quarter. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Richmond outscored the Lady Cavaliers (0-3, 0-1 SAC) 15-0 in the first quarter, and carried that run to 20-0 to start the second. Freshman point guard Jamyia Lindsey, who finished with a game-high 25 points, scored 9 points in the first frame.

Senior center Jai’Maya Ratliff scored all four of her points in the first quarter on two jumpers on back-to-back possessions. Sophomore guard Keyoni Nichols and freshman forward Rena Drake each drained a free throw.

Drake opened the second quarter with a triple from the right corner to wrap up her four-point performance, and sophomore forward Ryelan Lyerly hit a mid-range jumper, the first of her 6 points, to extend the lead to 20-0.

Southern Lee got its first basket on a shot in the paint by S. Lindsey with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter. The only other points in the half for the Lady Cavs came on a three-pointer from A. Womack in the final minute.

Lindsey netted 10 more points in the second quarter to lead the Lady Raiders, coming on a three-pointer, two field goals and three free throws. 

Nichols, who finished with a season-high 7 points, chipped in another bucket before the break. Scoring the first of her 4 points was junior Nyla Stroman, who made a layup under the basket.

Sophomore Keyoni Nichols (4) pulls up for a shot during the second half of Tuesday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Six Richmond players found the hoop in the third, starting with four points from Lindsey. Lyerly splashed down a three-pointer from the top of the arc, and Nichols and Stroman both scored two more points apiece.

Joining the scoring in the third were juniors C’Nedra Hinson and Joy Styles, who each netted a field goal.

Southern Lee scored 6 points in the third, the team’s high point total in any quarter.

A pair of free throws by Hinson, the final of her 4 points, to start the fourth quarter put Richmond ahead 51-11, starting the running clock with 7:26 to play in regulation.

Lindsey and Nichols each scored one more field goal in the fourth, and Lyerly and Styles rounded out the scoring with a shot from the free throw line.

“It was good to get more players some game experience because down the stretch we’re definitely going to need that,” Moseley said. “Everyone played, eight girls scored, but the scoring differential between Jamyia’s 25 points and the next player having 7 points, that has to close up a little more.

“I felt like we left way too many baskets on the floor,” he closed. “We missed a lot of uncontested wide-open layups. We needed to be a little bit more balanced in scoring.”

Sophomore Ryelan Lyerly (33) had 6 points in the Lady Raiders’ conference-opening victory. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Richmond (3-1, 1-0 SAC) will host Pinecrest High School (4-1) on Friday for another home conference contest. Action will begin at 6 p.m.

Moseley said the goal is to pick up a win against the Lady Patriots, a team the Lady Raiders haven’t beaten during his tenure dating back to the start of the 2018-19 season.

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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_