Saturday, 25 January 2020 00:42

Raiders land 10 triples in 40-point rout of Purnell Swett

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Junior wing Dylan Lewis drains a triple, one of 10 for Richmond, over Isaiah Santos in Friday's 40-point win. Junior wing Dylan Lewis drains a triple, one of 10 for Richmond, over Isaiah Santos in Friday's 40-point win. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

PEMBROKE — Five simple words -- “we can shoot the ball” -- have been repeated by Richmond Senior High School head basketball coach Donald Pettigrew all season.

That statement was on full display Friday, as the Raiders kicked off their second round of Sandhills Athletic Conference play on the road at Purnell Swett.

Behind what Pettigrew called a “total team effort,” the Raiders completed the regular-season series sweep of the Rams with a 69-29 win. Behind a running clock in the final seven minutes of the game, Pettigrew earned his first win in three tries on the road at Purnell Swett.

Richmond “shot the ball well” from all over the floor, racking up 10 three-pointers from five different players. Junior point guard PJ McLaughlin led the team with three baskets from beyond the arc, while sophomore Kellan Hood, and juniors Dylan Lewis and Nygie Stroman each knocked in two.

Junior Caleb Hood was the last Raider to splash down from three-point land, as his triple in the third quarter was one of seven made by Richmond in the frame. That marked a season-high for a single quarter this year.

“Shooting the three so well was big for us,” Pettigrew smiled after the game. “I’ve been saying all year we can shoot the ball, just like we did over the summer. It really showed tonight.

“Coach Tony (Terry) has been staying after practice with the guys until 9:30 during the week, and it’s paying off,” he continued of his assistant. “It was a total team effort. Even with 20 seconds left, guys were hustling to get the ball. It’s little things like that that mean the most.”

Stroman capped Richmond’s scoring with a game-high 19 points, as McLaughlin added 15 points for the Raiders. Both Hoods, Lewis and junior Dalton Stroman each netted eight points.

For the Rams, Xavier Jones scored a team-high eight points, all coming in the first half. Entering the game, Jones led all SAC players with 27.5 points per game, and Pettigrew credited his team’s defense to shutting down the senior forward.

A slow start by both teams saw Richmond take a 10-6 lead into the second. Nygie Stroman had four points, while Lewis, McLaughlin and Caleb Hood each scored a field goal.

The second period saw the Raiders and Rams trade baskets, and following two free throws from Jones, Purnell Swett trailed by only three points 18-15. But Richmond’s next bucket, a Nygie Stroman putback, ignited a 14-3 run to close the final 2:55 of the first half.

McLaughlin added a pair of free throws, while Dalton Stroman came alive off the bench with a 4-0 run by himself. Caleb Hood finished a three-point play at the line and Lewis rattled home his first triple from the corner with 12 seconds left.

Jones netted seven points in the second for the Rams (6-10, 3-5 SAC), and helping the home team stay within reach before the run were baskets from Micah Carter and Isaiah Santos. Carter’s basket came at the buzzer, cutting the Rams’ deficit to 32-18 at the break.

The Raiders really broke the game open in the first two minutes of the third quarter, as Caleb Hood, Nygie Stroman, Lewis and McLaughlin drained three-pointers on four consecutive possessions. All of them scored from the left side of the floor and the baskets were made without needing a rebound.

Richmond outscored the Rams 26-4 in the third, as McLaughlin added another triple from the left corner at the 5:40 mark. Kellan Hood entered the game and scored six quick points on a pair of three-balls from the top of the key.

McLaughlin led the team with eight points in the frame, adding a jumper, while sophomore guard Jalen David notched his two lone points.

Outscoring the Rams 37-17 in the second half, the Raiders added 11 points in the fourth to pick up their sixth conference win. Nygie Stroman added five points, including the team’s final three-pointer, and connected on a two-handed jam in transition. 

Dalton Stroman ended his night with three points on a bucket off the glass and a free throw. The running clock started when the Raiders nabbed their first 40-point lead, 62-22, with seven minutes remaining.

“Purnell has been playing teams tough (at home), but we came ready to play tonight,” Pettigrew said. “Basketball can be up and down and we’re getting hot at the right time. 

“We tried to put pressure on them on defense, whether it was full-court man or trapping all over the floor,” he added. “Our guys sped up the tempo and that helped us score and keep (the Rams) off the board.

Pettigrew closed by saying the win was a “big confidence booster” for the Raiders as they look to stay near the top of the SAC standings.

Richmond (13-5, 6-2 SAC) will return to the practice court over the weekend before making the trip to Pinecrest High School (15-2, 6-1 SAC) on Tuesday. The Patriots’ lone conference loss came at the shooting of the Raiders earlier this season.

Opening tip is set for 7:30 p.m. in Southern Pines against the first-place Patriots.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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