Wednesday, 12 February 2020 23:51

McDougald's career night at Lumberton keeps Lady Raiders in contention

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Jayla McDougald (left) scored a career-high 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers in Wednesday's win. Jayla McDougald (left) scored a career-high 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers in Wednesday's win. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LUMBERTON — Beyond the three-point line has been the place to be for Richmond Senior High School junior guard Jayla McDougald the last two games.

With the Lady Raiders on the road at Lumberton High School fighting for a playoff spot, McDougald went off for a career-high 25 points, proving to be the difference maker in a 57-41 Richmond victory.

Twenty-one of McDougald’s points came from three-point land, as she also netted a career-high seven triples. In her two games played this week, she’s connected for 11 three-pointers and 43 points.

“Jayla is in the zone right now,” head coach Teddy Moseley said after the pivotal Sandhills Athletic Conference win. “I don’t even know what to say about her. She’s focused and is seeing the basket really well.”

Also contributing double figures in the regular-season sweep of the Lady Pirates were senior Keionna Love (14 points) and junior Jakerra Covington (12 points).

The win over Lumberton was the second checked box for Moseley and company, as the goal entering the week was to win Richmond’s final three games heading into the conference tournament. The Lady Raiders picked up a big road win at Seventy-First on Tuesday.

“When Jayla, Keionna and Jakerra all have a big game for us and score in double digits, we’re going to win,” Moseley said. “And we need to continue that.

“But it started defensively for us tonight,” he continued. “We started out in man pretty well and then Lumberton started exposing us on the pick and roll. So we went back to our zone, and that worked well. Our guards did a great job pressuring their guards.”

One Lady Pirate who kept the home team in contention was August Smith, who scored a team-high 16 points and hit four three-pointers for Lumberton. She scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to keep the game within reach.

Richmond took a 9-8 lead into the second quarter and McDougald added her first three-pointer in the first. She drained three more for a team-high nine points in the second stanza, hitting her fourth of the game from the top of the key with 22 seconds left in the half.

At the break, Richmond opened its one-point lead into a 21-14 advantage.

The third quarter saw the Lady Raiders add 15 more points on the board to Lumberton’s 11, with McDougald starting things with a her fifth triple. She added six points in the third, and Covington added five points on two baskets and a free throw.

Love, who had scored six points in the first half, chipped in a pair of free throws and a field goal to give Richmond a 36-25 lead going into the final period.

The Lady Raiders saved their highest-scoring quarter for last, sinking the Lady Pirates for good with 21 points in the fourth. McDougald rounded out her career night with two more three-pointers and a free throw.

Love contributed four points from the line and Covington netted her final four points. Adding their two points of the game were seniors Jardai Tillman and Bree Wall, and senior Jasmine Ewing and freshman Kyla Sampson each knocked in a free throw.

Smith’s 13 points were impressive down the stretch, but RIchmond’s offense overpowered Lumberton (11-12, 4-9 SAC) to hold on for the win.

“We need to play hard on the defensive end,” Moseley closed of what it will take to defeat rival Scotland on Friday. “It was good to see Jakerra get going tonight. And we need to get better as a team on free throws, but I’ll take the win.”

Richmond (15-8, 6-7 SAC) will honor its senior players Friday in the regula-season finale at home against the Lady Fighting Scots (6-15, 3-10 SAC). The Lady Raiders will go for the sweep starting at 6 p.m.

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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