Friday, 10 January 2020 23:27

Big 3rd quarter, strong defense help Lady Raiders to 10th win

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Jayla McDougald (4) and Keionna Love (14) apply defensive pressure on Jaylen Carter in Friday's rout of Lumberton. Jayla McDougald (4) and Keionna Love (14) apply defensive pressure on Jaylen Carter in Friday's rout of Lumberton. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — After dropping three of their first four Sandhills Athletic Conference games to start the season, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team shifted its focus to playing one game at a time.

And the Lady Raiders took care of business in a big way Friday, routing visiting Lumberton High School 54-21. The win snapped Richmond’s 13-game losing streak to the Lady Pirates dating back to February 2014, and made it their 10th win of the season, matching last season’s total.

Senior wing Keionna Love led the charge for Richmond, netting a game-high 19 points. She scored seven points in the first half before adding 12 more in the final two periods. 

Junior teammates Jakerra Covington and Jayla McDougald both finished with nine points. Freshman Kyla Sampson rounded out the top scorers with five points.

Head coach Teddy Moseley said it was a refreshing win for two reasons, noting last year’s four-point loss to the Lady Pirates was still fresh on the team’s mind.

“To know we were within a point last year and lose, that was a heartbreaker,” Moseley said after the game. “To bounce back tonight and get this win, it’s really big for us.

“We’re 2-3 in the conference now and we’re going to play it one game at a time,” he continued. “It’s a new season and this win helped us.”

Both teams would get off to an even start, seeing Richmond take an 8-7 lead into the second quarter. Sampson hit a three-pointer early, one of six triples the team made on the night.

Moseley’s squad continued to use its press to force turnovers and make transition baskets, adding 16 points in the second frame. Love got her night going with six of her first-half points, adding a triple in the process.

Covington would battle her way through the paint four two baskets and knocked down a free throw. McDougald joined the mix with a three-pointer from the left wing and Richmond took a 24-14 lead into the break.

The game was broken open in the third as the Lady Raiders outscored Lumberton (8-6, 1-3 SAC) 21-3. Six different players would score, starting with Love’s eight points. Senior Jasmine Ewing joined the three-point parade, banging home a shot from the right corner to end the frame.

McDougald hit a three ball and a free throw, while teammates Jamiya Ratliff, Jardai Tillman and Covington added a basket each.

To close the door on the win, the Lady Raiders went on a 9-4 run in the final quarter. Love finished her scoring with four free throws.

While the Lady Raider offense was clicking, Moseley said it was the team’s defense that was the difference maker Friday.

“We’re confident in our shooters, but Jakerra was big on the defensive end tonight,” Moseley said. “She’s our motor, she brings the energy and everyone feeds off of her. 

“Jardai was wonderful on defense, too,” he added. “Our defensive effort was great overall and our help was great. It was a great team win tonight and it feels good to get our 10th win.”

The Lady Raiders (10-4, 2-3 SAC) will host Seventy-First High School (9-4, 3-1 SAC) on Tuesday and look to keep the season trending in the right direction. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: To hear from Love about her 19-point scoring performance, click here.

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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