Friday, 15 November 2019 14:45

Lady Raider Season Preview: Richmond 'more disciplined' in Moseley's second season

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Second-year head coach Teddy Moseley calls out a play during Richmond's scrimmage at Terry Sanford. Second-year head coach Teddy Moseley calls out a play during Richmond's scrimmage at Terry Sanford. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Back for his second season as the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball coach, Teddy Moseley knows what to expect and is looking to continue the program’s upward trend.

Moseley and the Lady Raiders made a significant jump in the Sandhills Athletic Conference standings during his inaugural season last winter, posting a 10-14 record and going from tied for last place to fourth. With the “development year” behind them, Moseley and company are looking to do damage in 2019-2020.

The Lady Raiders are returning several starters from a season ago, including senior guard Bree Wall and  juniors Jayla McDougald (guard) and Jakerra Covington (forward), who is entering her third year on varsity. Returning for her senior season in point guard Keionna Love, who is back at Richmond after playing a season at the O’Neal School.

While several other players are rising to the varsity level and are expected to pick up significant minutes, Richmond will be without a handful of faces from a season ago. Not returning this year are Allexis and Allyiah Swiney, Layne Maultsby and Hailey Miller, all of whom were a big part of last season’s turnaround.

Although he’s lost a lot of depth, Moseley will see his top two scorers from last season return in Covington (11 points per game) and McDougald (10 points per game). It’s those two, along with the addition of Love, the second-year head coach hopes will lead a fast-tempo offense and a strong defense.

“I’m looking for Jakerra to step up and be a leader,” Moseley said during Thursday’s practice. “I expect a lot out of Jayla and Bree, but Keionna is going to be the glue that holds us together as far as scoring the basketball. 

“We’re shooting the ball a lot better already this year,” he added of the offense. “The shots we missed last year, we’re actually making them now and we’re improving. The main thing is putting the ball in the basket. We’re going to create a lot of opportunities off our defense, too.”

One of the Lady Raiders’ best assets is their speed, which Moseley said will help establish his team’s scoring chances. He noted Love can “shoot from anywhere on the floor,” and McDougald and Wall will serve as quick wings on the perimeter. Covington, along with senior Anajah Redfearn and junior Davionna Campbell, will serve as strong post players on both sides of the ball.

He added that the offense is getting an overhaul this season, specifically focusing on “trying to spread the floor out a little bit more.” It’s the hope that opening space around the perimeter will allow for Love and McDougald to get open looks, as well as provide scoring chances in the paint.

Another goal for Richmond this season is to be more consistent around the basket, as the Lady Raiders only averaged 42.6 points per game last season, which was fifth-best in the SAC. Turnovers and ball control were also an issue, but Moseley feels the “guard play is much better.”

“We’re not as deep as we were last year on defense because of some of the losses we had, but we’re faster,” Moseley said of the other side of the ball. “We’re also more disciplined because we had a full summer to prepare. Being able to have a full offseason has helped us tremendously on both sides of the ball.

“Davionna and Anajah are both great post defenders, and both give us the size and toughness down low that we were missing last year,” he added.

Seniors Bree Wall (20) and Anajah Redfearn will be key to the team’s defense this season.

Over the summer, the Lady Raiders played in a handful of jamborees, including the Powerade State Games in June. That extra time on the court, as well as the team continuing to improve on the game’s fundamentals, is an added bonus this season.

New to the varsity team this year is freshman Kyla Sampson, a player who Moseley hopes finds her footing early on. Coming off a knee injury from middle school, Sampson will look to fill the void of so many lost players. 

“Kyla is coming along, but she has to trust herself,” Moseley explained. “She can shoot the ball, I just need her to put up more shots. She will have to play a big role based on the players we lost.”

The Lady Raiders haven’t been crowned conference champions since 2010 when they went 19-2 overall and 9-0 in the 4A Conference 4 under former head coach Nellie Harrington. In order to make a run at a title, they’ll have to prepare for a tough Pinecrest team, among other schools, that has won back-to-back championships.

With the team he has this year, the right energy and mentality, Moseley thinks the Lady Raiders can make a run toward the top of the standings.

“With the improvement we made last year going from eighth place to finishing tied for fourth, a realistic expectation this year is to finish in the top three of the conference,” Moseley said. “If we continue to improve on our shooting as the season goes on, we can achieve that.

“We’re all super excited, I can’t sleep at night because I’m ready to get this season going,” he closed. “We left a lot on the table last season, so now we’re looking to build off of that.”

Richmond’s first tipoff of the season is Tuesday at home against non-conference Anson High School. 

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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