Wednesday, 12 February 2020 23:01

Raiders 'outplayed' in rematch against Lumberton

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Nygie Stroman (left) and Dylan Lewis (right) defend a shot by Lumberton's Charlie Miller (12). Nygie Stroman (left) and Dylan Lewis (right) defend a shot by Lumberton's Charlie Miller (12). Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LUMBERTON — With the regular season winding down, the Richmond boys’ basketball team had a shot at redemption when it traveled to Sandhills Athletic Conference foe Lumberton High School on Wednesday.

A makeup game from last Friday, the third-place Raiders fell short in their attempt to split the regular-season series with the second-place Pirates, dropping a 75-46 decision.

When the two teams met earlier this winter, Lumberton handed the Raiders a 30-point loss on their home floor. Head coach Donald Pettigrew said the outcome of that game wasn’t on the minds of his players, explaining “they came out ready to play”.

The difference maker, however, the third-year head coach explained, was Lumberton outplayed Richmond in several aspects down the stretch.

“We came out on a 6-0 run to start the game then (Lumberton) out-toughed us,” Pettigrew said. “They knocked the ball out of our hands and out-rebounded us. We have to be better than that. 

“The bottom line is they outplayed us tonight,” he added. “They out-coached me and I’ll take this one.”

Richmond struggled to slow down senior point guard Jordan McNeill and junior shooting guard Charlie Miller, as the pair of Pirates each dropped 19 points. Miller connected for a game-high five three-pointers.

Leading the way for Richmond was junior forward PJ McLaughlin, who scored 10 points, five in each half. Next on the scoresheet for the Raiders with nine points was junior forward Nygie Stroman.

The Raiders took a 6-0 lead in the early part of the first quarter, but a scoring drought in the final 4:30 allowed Lumberton to take a 17-8 lead. The Pirates closed the frame on an 11-2 run.

In the middle part of the second stanza, the Raiders responded with a 16-2 run of their own, ending with a three-pointer from junior wing Dylan Lewis that cut the deficit to two points, 30-28.

During that span, McLaughlin scored five of the points, sophomore shooting guard Kellan Hood netted a triple and junior Jakolbe Baldwin drove the paint for two points. Baldwin and Stroman connected on an off-the-glass alley-oop just before Lewis’ three-ball.

But that’s the closest Richmond would get the rest of the game. Lumberton (19-4, 10-3 SAC) would distance itself in the closing 2:15 of the half, using a 6-0 spurt to take a 36-28 lead into the break.

The second half didn’t fare much better for Richmond, which was outscored 39-18. Junior Caleb Hood scored five of the team’s 11 points in the third and McLaughlin, Stroman and sophomore Jalen David combined for eight free throws in the final quarter.

“We have a big game Friday to try and finish third in the conference,” Pettigrew said. “We can learn from tonight or the same thing could happen again in the conference tournament.

“Lumberton played 32 minutes tonight and we didn’t,” he closed. “I told the guys they can’t expect to win in the first five minutes. We’re expecting to make a deep run and now we need to fix the little things.”

Richmond (16-7, 9-4 SAC) will host rival Scotland High School (12-10, 8-5 SAC) on Friday for senior night. It’ll be a battle for third place in the final conference standings.

The Fighting Scots defeated Richmond in the first meeting this season. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Raider Gymnasium.

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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