Thursday, 27 January 2022 19:46

Late comeback attempt comes up short for JV Raiders against Pinecrest

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ROSports File Photo: Freshman Keyonta Davis had 18 points in Wednesday's loss to Pinecrest. ROSports File Photo: Freshman Keyonta Davis had 18 points in Wednesday's loss to Pinecrest. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High School junior varsity boys’ basketball team nearly erased a double-digit deficit in its home game against Pinecrest on Wednesday.


Playing for the second time this season, the JV Raiders were swept by the JV Patriots, losing the final contest 80-71.

Richmond trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half, but managed to cut Pinecrest’s lead to five points. Despite the comeback attempt, the JV Raiders still came up short.

“After losing earlier in the year to Pinecrest, this time around we felt pretty confident going into this game, and what a game it was,” head coach Kenta Hutchinson said. “Our biggest deficit was 18 points and they jumped on us early to start the third quarter.

“We chipped away the entire third and I told our guys we have to have a sense of urgency from that five-minute mark when I called a timeout,” he added. “And we did just that, pushing the ball in transition and finishing at the rim.”

Sophomore David McNair scored a team-high 19 points for Richmond, netting 12 points in the second half. Freshman Keyonta Davis was just behind McNair with 18 points, spreading his scoring evenly with nine points in both halves.

Fellow freshman Ahaiver McDonald and sophomore Toby McInnis helped keep the JV Raiders close with double-digit performances. McDonald netted 15 points and McInnis added 12 points, including 10 in the final two periods.

Rounding out the scoring for Richmond were freshman Raymond Knotts (4 points) and sophomore Jada Zimmerman (2 points).

Richmond trailed 15-14 after the opening period, using four points each from Davis and McDonald. Knotts, McNair and Zimmerman all had two points.

Pinecrest outscored Richmond 29-17 in the second quarter, using 16 points from Elijah Melton and 7 points from Zymire Spencer to open its lead. 

Davis, McNair and McDonald all had five points in the quarter, with Davis knocking down a three-pointer. McInnis got his scoring started with a field goal. At the break, Richmond trailed 44-31.

Like Hutchinson said, the Raiders started to chip away at the lead in the third. McNair netted nine points on four field goals and a free throw, and Davis hit another triple and two buckets for seven points.

McInnis added six points on four free throws and a basket, and a pair of free throws by McDonald closed the gap to 60-55 to start the fourth.

But a 20-15 run by the visitors in the final eight minutes kept Richmond out of the win column. McInnis and McDonald each had four points in the fourth, McNair added his final three points and Knotts and Davis each had two points.

“We cut it to five points to start the fourth and just couldn’t pull it off,” Hutchinson noted. “Playing Pinecrest is always a fun, competitive game and they have a really good team this year.

“We knew going in it would be tough and I told our guys as long as we competed at a high level and didn’t fold after they went runs, that’s all I could ask for.”

Richmond (7-5, 3-2 SAC) will travel to Hoke County High School on Friday and begin play at 6 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: @ROSports_