Tuesday, 10 December 2019 21:52

Lady Raiders use 51-point win as 'confidence booster'

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Sophomore forward Jamiya Ratliff (40) had 10 points in Richmond's win over Cheraw. Sophomore forward Jamiya Ratliff (40) had 10 points in Richmond's win over Cheraw. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The most productive first half of the season led to a running-clock victory for the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team on Tuesday.

Behind double-digit scoring performances from senior guard Keionna Love and sophomore forward Jamiya Ratliff, the Lady Raiders put up a 33-point first quarter in a 63-12 non-conference win over visiting Cheraw High School. 

Richmond (4-1) used a combination of making early baskets and a successful press on defense to jump out to a fast start. Love ended with a game-high 13 points, while Ratliff matched her season-high with 10 points.

Winning four of their first five games makes it the Lady Raiders’ best start to a season since winning their first seven contests in 2009.

“We definitely needed a win like this, especially as we prepare for Pinecrest (High School) on Friday,” second-year head coach Teddy Moseley said. “This was a confidence booster for us. Even though (Cheraw) wasn’t a very good team, we had to run our sets and play strong.

“The press looked good and we took better shots tonight,” he added. “We still have to finish around the basket and make layups, but free throws were a little better tonight.”

For the first time all season, every member of the 12-player Richmond roster found the basket. From the charity stripe, Richmond went 11-for-20 (55 percent) and 20-for-45 from the field (44 percent). 

Off the opening tip, it was all Richmond, which opened on a 26-0 run to start the game. Several of Richmond’s points were made in transition off steals thanks to the press. Ratliff recorded all 10 of her points in the first quarter, making a three-pointer, three field goals and a free throw.

Eight players would score in the opening eight minutes, with Love’s six points being the second most on the team. Junior guard Jayla McDougald and junior forward Jakerra Covington each added four points, with teammates Kyla Sampson and Anajah Redfearn contributing a bucket.

In the closing 55 seconds, Ratliff scored six straight points, hitting a baseline jumper and two shots under the basket. Cheraw’s first point of the game, a free throw by Iesha Conde, came with 1:49 left.

A 19-point second quarter kept the momentum going for the Lady Raiders, seeing Sampson and Redfearn lead the way with four points each. Love started the quarter by closing the back end of an and-one opportunity, while junior forward Kelly Hoffman joined the scoring action with a mid-range basket.

Trailing 37-1, a three-pointer by the Lady Braves’ Amber Boan at the six-minute mark provided three of Cheraw’s 10 points in the quarter. Redfearn muscled her way on a drive for two points in the closing minute, and McDougald went coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Lady Raiders up 52-11 at the half.

Per North Carolina High School Athletic Association rules, the 40+ point lead allowed for a running clock for the entire second half. It was a low-scoring affair for both teams, seeing Richmond add 11 points and Cheraw putting up two more.

In the third quarter, Love hit her second triple of the game, junior forward Davionna Campbell scored on an offensive rebound and senior center Jardai Tillman hit a free throw.

Campbell and Tillman, along with junior guard Asia Douglas, combined for five points in the fourth quarter.

Other point totals for the Lady Raiders were Covington (6), Redfearn (6), Sampson (6), Campbell (4), McDougald (4) and Bree Wall (4).

“It’s good to have so many players scoring because that proves we’re not one-dimensional,” Moseley said. “We are balanced, which is a good thing. Any night we could have a different leading scorer.

“We’ve got to focus on defense because that has to be good on Friday,” he closed. “We know Pinecrest is going to be disciplined on offense, so we need to match that on defense. That’s the most important thing.”

Returning to Sandhills Athletic Conference play on Friday, the Lady Raiders will host the Lady Patriots (3-2, 0-1) at 6 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time 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

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