Friday, 13 December 2019 23:05

Lady Raiders' comeback efforts fall short in SAC loss to Pinecrest

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Richmond's Jasmine Ewing (42), Jardai Tillman (54) and Jayla McDougald converge on Keayna McLaughlin, who scored 29 points. Richmond's Jasmine Ewing (42), Jardai Tillman (54) and Jayla McDougald converge on Keayna McLaughlin, who scored 29 points. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — What he called a “must win” on Friday didn’t happen for Richmond Senior High School head girls’ basketball coach Teddy Moseley and the Lady Raiders.

Hosting Pinecrest High School for the team’s second Sandhills Athletic Conference game of the season, the Lady Raiders saw their comeback efforts come up short in a 61-53 loss. 

Several times in the second half the Lady Raiders would close the gap against the Lady Patriots to a couple of possessions, but Pinecrest’s Keayna McLaughlin scored a game-high 29 points to keep Richmond at bay.

The senior for Pinecrest also recently collected her 1,000th career point.

“We had two great practices before tonight’s game, and then we just didn’t execute,” Moseley said. “It was like a deer in the headlights. Physically, we’re a great team. But we had too many mental mistakes tonight.

“We’re not mentally strong, and that’s what we’ve got to work on most,” he continued. “But I was proud of how we battled back. We cut it to four at one point, but then we’d have defensive lapses and be back down 10.”

Moseley noted that establishing and maintaining momentum was a problem against Pinecrest, and “watching the ball” on defense limited his team’s opportunities.

Senior guard Keionna Love would post a season-high 20 points in the loss, scoring nine points in the first half and 11 more in the second half. She was hot from beyond the arc, draining five three-pointers. 

Also having a productive night from downtown was freshman guard Kyla Sampson, whose nine points were a season high, all of which came from three-point land. Senior Jayla McDougald chipped in seven points.

McLaughlin helped set the tempo for the Lady Patriots (4-2, 1-1 SAC) in the first quarter by scoring 10 of her team’s 19 points to give the visitors a 19-10 lead. Eight of Richmond’s 10 points came from the charity stripe in the opening quarter.

The second frame saw the Lady Raiders trail by as many as 15 points when Pinecrest’s Sha’hoda Kelley laid in two of her 16 points. Down 30-15 with just over 90 seconds left in the half, sophomore Jamiya Ratliff and Love connected on back-to-back three pointers to cut it to nine points.

Love ended the scoring in the opening half for Richmond with her second triple of the night, but a pair of free throws from Aniyah Jackson extended Pincrest’s lead back to double digits, 34-24.

Out of the break, Love went on a tear, scoring eight points in a two minute span to pull the Lady Raiders within four points, 38-34. Pinecrest called a timeout, but Richmond kept pace with four points from McDougald and a three-pointer from Sampson to enter the final frame down 47-41.

But Pinecrest’s defense would limit Richmond to just 10 points in the fourth quarter, and McLaughlin matched those 10 points by herself. She added a bucket and went 8-for-8 from the line.

Love, Sampson and Jakerra Covington combined for Richmond’s 10 points in the fourth, but the clock expired to hand the Lady Raiders their second consecutive conference loss.

Bree Wall and Covington both contributed six points, while Ratliff had three points.

“We’ve got to learn to win,” Moseley said. “We get caught watching the ball too much. The whole time we’re doing that, teams are running someone on the backside. That has to stop because it plagues us every time.

“Keionna shot the ball well tonight,” he said of Love’s performance. “Kyla earned herself a starting spot by playing her best game in the biggest game this season. Jakerra played (McLaughlin) really well on defense when she kept her in front. But when we reached for the ball (McLaughlin) made us pay.”

Richmond (4-2, 0-2 SAC) will return to non-conference action at Cheraw High School on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Last modified on Friday, 13 December 2019 23:12

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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