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Monday, 13 January 2020 11:36

Full week of Richmond, local middle school athletics as winter season heats up

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Senior Autumn Hoffman will be one of eight Lady Raiders to compete in the girls' singles tournament on Wednesday. Senior Autumn Hoffman will be one of eight Lady Raiders to compete in the girls' singles tournament on Wednesday. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — As Richmond Senior High School student-athletes prepare for final exams to start on Wednesday for the first semester, the athletics schedule continues to stay hot for several programs.

Some programs, like bowling and swimming, are seeing their regular seasons wind down, while others like basketball and wrestling are just past the halfway point. Below is a breakdown of what to expect this week in Raider and Lady Raider athletics.

Bowling girls’ singles set for Wednesday

The Richmond boys’ and girls’ bowling teams wrapped up Sandhills Athletic Conference play last week in Laurinburg, and await the start of the postseason. Bowlers will compete in a boys’ and girls’ singles tournament to qualify for states, then cap the season with the SAC tournament.

Up first, the Lady Raiders will travel to Aberdeen on Wednesday for their singles tournament. Head coach Ralph Butler said he’s entered eight bowlers into the competition, among them Amber Henson, Hailey Miller, Autumn Hoffman, Carley Lambeth, Kayla Howell, Hannah Bennett and Josie Standridge. 

In last week’s matches, Henson and Miller both closed out 50 percent of their respective frames, while Lambeth finished at 40 percent.

Each bowler will roll her own full games, and the top eight at the tournament will enter a “roll off.” The top four from that will qualify for the state tournament. Last season, former Lady Raider Savannah Lampley made it to states. Games will get underway at 4 p.m.

Swimming competes in regular season finale at St. Andrews

Mike Way and the Richmond boys’ and girls’ swimming teams will finish their regular season on Wednesday at St. Andrews University. It will be the fourth and final regular season meet ahead of the Sandhills Athletic Conference Championship later this month.

Several swimmers, including Dakota Locklear, Eric Singleton and Maylyn Wallace are coming off record times in last week’s meet in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. In what has been a season of growth, Way’s swimmers will look to increase their times on final time ahead of the postseason. Heats will begin at 6 p.m.

Raider wrestling faces lighter week with exams

Fresh off a second-place finish in the Montgomery Central Duals on Saturday, the Richmond wrestling team will bypass its normally scheduled Wednesday SAC matches in lieu of final exams.

The Raiders and head coach Earl Nicholson will instead return to the mat on Saturday at St. Pauls High School and compete in the Bulldog Brawl. Austin Gallops and Ethan Ownens will look to stay hot, as each won his respective weight class over the weekend. 

Senior Joey Nicholson will look to get back in action after an injury sidelined him at Montgomery Central. Individual matches are set to get underway at 9 a.m.

Lady Raider basketball to keep playing “one game at a time”

The Lady Raiders are on a two-game conference winning streak after defeating Hoke County and routing Lumberton on Friday. Richmond earned its 10th win and now sits a 2-3 in SAC play after a slow start.

Head coach Teddy Moseley praised his team’s fight and defensive efforts the last couple of games and will look to keep climbing the conference standings when they host Seventy-First High School (9-4, 3-1 SAC) on Tuesday and travel to rival Scotland (5-6, 2-2 SAC) on Friday.

Richmond currently sits in sixth place in the SAC standings, but a couple of wins could flip the standings. The junior varsity girls team will also play Seventy-First and Scotland, but away Tuesday and home Friday.

Raider basketball looking to end skid with two SAC games

On the flip side, the boys’ varsity team is currently suffering a lull in its otherwise successful first half of the season. Friday’s 30-point loss to Lumberton made it the Raiders’ first SAC loss in five games, and they followed up with a non-conference loss to South Meck on Saturday.

The Raiders have had trouble scoring the ball early (nine first-half points against Lumberton and 20 against South Meck), and that’s something head coach Donald Pettigrew is committed to fixing. 

Still atop the SAC standings with a 4-1 record and tied with Pinecrest (a team they beat), the Raiders will have the Falcons (6-6, 2-2 SAC) and Fighting Scots (5-7, 2-2 SAC) this week.

Also in action will be the boys’ JV team, which earned its 10th win of the season against South Meck on Saturday. The JV Raiders will play opposite of the varsity team.

Middle school hoops outlook

The only Richmond County middle school teams in action on Monday are the Ellerbe Middle School boys’ and girls’ teams at Anson Middle School. The Wildcats (1-3) are looking to end a two-game skid, while the Lady Wildcats (0-4) are shooting for their first win of the season. 

The girls’ game will begin at 4:15 p.m., followed by the boys’ game around 5:15 p.m.

Thursday creates a big meeting between Cordova and Rockingham middle schools in Cavalier Town. In boys’ action, the Rockets and Cavs are both 3-1 and are fighting alongside Hamlet Middle School to stay in the top third of the standings.

Rockingham’s Paul McNeil and Cordova’s Jamarion Wall are two of the most electric scorers in the conference this season, both putting up over 20 points in several games this season.

Ahead of the boys’ game, the Lady Rockets, led by Jamyia Lindsey, Keyoni Nichols and MaKailah Jackson, will look to remain undefeated against the Lady Cavs. Tipoff for the girls is set for 4 p.m., followed by the boys.

Hamlet’s teams will take Monday off before welcoming in Carver Middle School on Thursday. The Lady Red Rams and leading scorer Ryelan Lyerly are riding a three-game winning streak, while JV Drake, Tristan Wall and the Red Rams are looking to bounce back from a tough loss to West Hoke. Games will begin at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Girls indoor track to compete, Lady Raider softball begins workouts

To round out competition this week, the Richmond indoor track team will run in a multi-team meet at Reid Ross High School in Fayetteville on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Also, the Lady Raider softball team will begin pre-season team workouts starting Monday at the softball field. Players will workout from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting.

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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