Friday, 14 February 2020 20:24

Lady Raiders rout rival Scotland on senior night

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The Lady Raiders honored their four seniors with a big win over rival Scotland on Friday. The Lady Raiders honored their four seniors with a big win over rival Scotland on Friday. Jasmine Hager

ROCKINGHAM — Lady Raider head coach Teddy Moseley said at the beginning of the week he knew his basketball team could finish strong with three conference wins in four nights.

Hosting rival Scotland High School on senior night in the regular-season finale, the Lady Raiders did just that, completing the season series sweep with a dominating 68-35 win.

In front of a big home crowd, the Lady Raiders also celebrated their four senior players: Jasmine Ewing, Keionna Love, Jardai Tillman and Bree Wall.

The win proved to be the team’s fourth straight victory, a season-long streak. Love would close out her final regular season game with an impressive 24 points, which led all scorers, 17 coming in the first half. 

Earlier in the week, she scored a career-high 25 points against Seventy-First High School. Love scored a game-high four triples.

Adding to the barrage of scoring was junior Jayla McDougald with 14 points, as her shot from downtown stayed hot. She connected on three three-pointers two nights after hitting seven against Lumberton.

Fellow junior Jakerra Covington also punched double digits, finishing with 11 points. Wall also contributed 11 points on senior night, while Ewing notched four points on a bucket and two free throws.

“We’re peaking at the right time, but we still have a job to do,” Moseley said. “It was senior night and Keionna played great and Bree chipped in with 11 points. The big three of Keionna, Jakerra and Jayla was big for us as usual.

“Last year we ended on a four-game losing streak,” he added. “This year I told them I wanted to end on a four-game winning streak and they answered the call. I’m so proud of all of them. I can’t ask anymore of these young ladies.”

Perhaps the biggest win of the season in terms of possibly making the 4A state playoffs, the Lady Raiders are currently on the outside looking in. According to the most recent adjusted Maxpreps rankings, Richmond was the 49th team in the rankings, one spot from getting in.

Richmond got off to a fast start with 15 points in the first quarter, seeing Love take control for her first eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. McDougald notched her first triple, and Covington and Wall each chipped in two points.

Leading by seven at the start of the second, a 19-point burst by the Lady Raiders helped open the game up. Love added another three-ball, a field goal and went 4-for-5 at the line. Covington’s five points helped distance the home team and McDougald added her second triple just before the break.

Coming out of the locker room with a 34-17 lead, Richmond tacked on 10 more points to Scotland’s five. Love and McDougald both added a three-pointer and Wall and Covington connected on a field goal.

Despite the lapse in scoring in the third, Moseley said his team’s strong defensive play helped keep things comfortable.

“It all started on defense and the girls have been playing so well lately,” Moseley said. “We’re stopping people and creating easy baskets. When we’re not behind the eight ball and we have a scoring drought like we did in the third, we were able to keep that cushion.”

An explosive 24-point fourth quarter by Richmond put the game away for good. Wall had a strong quarter with seven points, McDougald added her final five points and Love scored four points. Ewing scored all four of her points in the final stanza.

For Scotland (6-16, 3-11 Sandhills Athletic Conference), Asjah Swindell had 19 points. Kadence Sheppard added 11 points in the loss.

Up next for the Lady Raiders (16-8, 7-7 Sandhills Athletic Conference) will be the SAC tournament, which will see Richmond as the No. 5 seed. The opening round will be played on Monday, with the Lady Raiders traveling to No. 4 Pinecrest High School (13-10, 8-6).

In the two regular-season meetings, the Lady Patriots beat Richmond both times by an average of 11 points. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in Southern Pines.

“I’m tired of losing to Pinecrest,” Moseley commented. “We’ve beaten every team in the conference since I started coaching except them.

“We’ve got to execute on Monday,” he closed. “They are a good team, a well-coached team. I think if we go in with the confidence we had tonight, we’ll be good.”

ROSports will publish an SAC tournament preview on Monday.

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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