Wednesday, 09 January 2019 00:03

Lady Raiders score season-high 58 points against Hoke County as "pieces are coming together"

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Sophomore forward Jakerra Covington (44) had a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) in Richmond's win over Hoke County. Sophomore forward Jakerra Covington (44) had a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) in Richmond's win over Hoke County. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — Tuesday’s performance by the Lady Raider varsity basketball team was the one first-year head coach Teddy Moseley and his players had been waiting for.

Fresh off of Friday’s win over Jack Britt High School, the Lady Raiders welcomed in the Hoke County High School Lady Bucks Tuesday, and made easy work of the visiting team en route to a 58-32 victory.

The point total was a season-high for the Lady Raiders, as a mix of regular starters and bench players combined to impress in the victory.

Richmond improved to 7-6 overall, and now sits alone in second place in the Sandhills Athletic Conference standings with a 3-1 record. Ahead of the Lady Raiders is only Pinecrest High School (13-1, 4-0 SAC), a team Richmond narrowly lost to on Dec. 14.

Moseley noted after the 36-33 win over Jack Britt five days ago that his team needed to find its offensive groove in order become more competitive in the conference. A scoring outburst is what the Lady Raiders found, as nine total players scored in the win, with five players scoring at least seven points.

Sophomore forward Jakerra Covington led all scorers with a game-high 15 points (also a season-high), and finished her second straight game with a double-double by adding a team-high 11 rebounds.

Senior teammate Taliah Wall had her best scoring performance of the season with eight points. A trio of Lady Raiders ended the night with seven points, coming from starters Jayla McDougald and Allexis Swiney, and reserve player Jayana Nicholson.

“We did what we need to do tonight,” Moseley commented. “No. 10 for them (Kiya Locklear) is a pretty good point guard, and defensively, we were able to hold her to five points. Jakerra played well in the post and our guards played well.

“It was a complete game for us defensively,” he added. “Even though she only had two points, I was so impressed with Layne (Maultsby). She didn’t get rattled and had excellent passes and played tremendous defense. She was a big key at guard for us tonight.”

The opening half was dominated on both sides of the ball by Richmond, as the Lady Raiders rolled out to a 23-7 halftime lead. Their scoring was spread evenly (11 and 12 points, respectively) in the first two quarters, as tough guard play limited the Lady Bucks to just three and four points in each quarter.

After a Locklear free throw opened the game’s scoring, Richmond went on runs of 7-0 and 13-0 to explode out to a 20-3 lead. Covington collected nine of her points in that span, as Wall notched her first six points of the night during the same stretch.

A mid-range jumper by Dominique Thompson at the 1:08 mark of the second quarter ended a 9:25 scoring drought by the Lady Bucks that spanned began with 2:33 to go in the first quarter. Consistent all night down low, the Lady Raider defense made a habit of denying Hoke County of many open looks and forced numerous turnovers that led to quick transition points.

“Even though we were up 16 points at the half, I still wasn’t happy,” Moseley noted. “We shot 8-for-37 from the field and that has to get better. We should have been up by a lot more at half. I was happy with the lead, but we need to put the ball in the open hole.”

Out of the intermission, the Lady Raiders scored 17 points in the third quarter and tacked on a game-best 18 points in the final frame. Swiney got in on the scoring action in the third stanza, as she hit two field goals and a three-pointer for all seven of her points.

Covington notched four more points in the third, while junior guard Hailey Miller joined the scoring parade with a jumper at the 3:30 mark. Miller was playing for the first time since the holiday break tournament, as she’s been battling an undisclosed injury.

By quarter’s end, Richmond held a 40-20 lead, and matched its point total from the Jack Britt win (36 points) with an Allyiah Swiney layup still with 2:45 to play.

Richmond climbed out to its largest lead of the game, 27 points, when Miller splashed a three-pointer from the right corner with 6:12 to go in regulation. Hoke County mustered 12 points in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Lady Raiders.

“The way we had to struggle to win Friday (against Jack Britt), I think the way we played tonight could be a turning point for the girls,” Moseley said. “They feel great and their morale and confidence is up. We had a great practice Monday and they’re finding their stride -- the pieces are coming together.”

“We’ve improved already from last year -- we won six games last year, and now we have seven wins,” he added. “But we don’t want to settle. Hailey shot the ball really well coming back from injury, and Jayana coming off the bench was a big factor.”

Leading Hoke County’s scoring was sophomore Simone Benton, who racked up a team-high nine points. Thompson and Locklear finished two and three with eight and five points, respectively.

Moseley concluded by saying the team is “having more fun” and hopes to see the wins continue to string together as the rest of the SAC schedules unfolds.

Richmond will travel to Lumberton High School on Friday, Jan. 11, and face a Lady Pirates team that is 6-4 and 2-2 in the SAC. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:26

Kyle Pillar

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

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