Friday, 04 January 2019 00:01

Maultsby, McDougald have strong game despite 55-48 loss to Forest Hills

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Junior Layne Maultsby (23) pulls up for one of her team-high three three-pointers Thursday, as she scored a season-high nine points off the bench. Junior Layne Maultsby (23) pulls up for one of her team-high three three-pointers Thursday, as she scored a season-high nine points off the bench. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

MARSHVILLE, N.C. — The Richmond Senior High School varsity girls basketball team didn’t ring in the new year the way it wanted to, as the Lady Raiders dropped a close non-conference contest against Forest Hills High School Thursday.

Having not played a game since finishing in third place in the Anson County Shootout prior to Christmas, the Lady Raiders fell to a game below the .500 mark as they split the season series with the Lady Yellow Jackets. Richmond (5-6) lost to Forest Hills (4-8) by a final score of 55-48.

Entering the game, first-year head coach Teddy Moseley knew he’d be without two players, including starting point guard Allexis Swiney (illness) and backup point guard Hailey Miller (undisclosed injury). That turned the Lady Raiders’ focus to trying to shut down Forest Hills’ Jelaysia Howard, but the senior guard proved to be too much in the end.

Howard scored a game-high 25 points in the win, with 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter, including going 8-for-10 at the free throw line in the final frame.

“We were down a couple of players and the difference tonight was free throws and No. 30 (Howard),” Moseley said after the game. “Before the game, I told the team that the one person we couldn’t let beat us was (Howard) -- and that’s the one person we let beat us.

“We have to get better on the defensive end,” he added. “Whatever we did to try and contain (Howard), we couldn’t do it. Late turnovers down the stretch also hurt us. We have to get better at the point guard position -- that’s hurting us right now.”

In the first matchup on Dec. 13, the Lady Raiders downed Forest Hills 50-33 in front of their home crowd.

Richmond trailed 15-11 at the end of the first quarter, but a three-pointer by junior guard Layne Maultsby with 18 seconds left cut into what was a seven-point deficit. Maultsby’s first of Richmond’s team-high three three-pointers on the night spraked a 7-0 run by the visiting team that carried over into the second quarter.

The Lady Raiders tied the game at 15 at the 3:27 mark thanks to a shot off the glass by freshman Jamiya Ratliff in the paint. Both teams traded points the rest of the half, but sophomore guard Jayla McDougald gave Richmond the halftime lead at the final buzzer with two of her team-high 11 points.

Using the press, freshman teammate Allyiah Swiney forced a turnover just shy of half court and zipped a pass to a wide open McDougald under the hoop for an easy layup. Heading into the break, the Lady Raiders held a 22-21 lead.

But the Lady Raiders wouldn’t hold onto the lead long, as a pair of Howard free throws early in the third quarter gave Forest Hills a lead it wouldn’t squander. The Lady Yellow Jackets outscored Richmond 34-26 in the final two quarters, although the Lady Raiders would tie the game twice in the middle of the fourth quarter to make things interesting.

Sophomore Jayla McDougald hits a floater in the second half of Thursday’s game.

Maultsby, who finished the game with a season-high nine points, splashed her final triple of the game from the left wing, a contested shot with 4:22 left in regulation to knot the game at 41. A quick bucket by Yanira Roman gave Forest Hills a one-bucket advantage on the next possession, but junior center Jardai Tillman kissed the glass moments later to keep things even at 43 points.

That would be the closest Moseley’s squad would get the rest of the game, as the Lady Yellow Jackets closed the remaining 3:49 on a 12-5 run. Howard was responsible for eight of those points, as Richmond found itself on its heels and was forced to foul in the final minute and a half.

“Layne did a great job tonight,” Moseley said. “She came off the bench and played with a lot confidence, which is something I’ve been trying to get her to do all season. Jardai and Jayla both played well, and Jayla made some key passes for us.”

Moseley noted that losing sophomore forward Jakerra Covington to foul trouble midway through the fourth quarter “was a big momentum killer” for the Lady Raiders. At the time she fouled out, Covington had eight points through three quarters.

Tillman finished the game with eight points, six of which came in the first quarter. Taliah Wall and Swiney tacked on five points of their own in the loss. Adding to Howard’s game-high 25 points for Forest Hills were Tiana Slogan (nine points), Roman (eight points) and Hope Benson (six points).

The Lady Raiders will be back in action Friday at home, as they search for their second Sandhills Athletic Conference win of the season, and their first win in 2019. Currently 1-1 in SAC play, Richmond will host Jack Britt High School (6-3, 2-0), with tip off slated for 6 p.m.

The last time the two schools played was in the opening round of the 2018 SAC tournament, which No. 6 Richmond knocked off the No. 3 Lady Buccaneers 58-47 on the road in Fayetteville.

Note: In the junior varsity game, also played at Forest Hills, the JV Lady Raiders improved to 6-2 on the season with a 33-23 road victory. Sophomore Shelly Hoffman led head coach Mitch Coe’s team with nine points, and came up clutch with seven of them in the second half.

The Lady Yellow Jackets held an 18-12 halftime lead, but went cold from the floor in the second half, as Richmond outscored the home team 21-5 after intermission. Freshman Kaitlyn Huff added eight points, while five other players combined for the final 16 points.

Last modified on Saturday, 05 January 2019 00:41
Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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