Wednesday, 19 February 2020 20:19

No. 3 Raiders upset No. 2 Lumberton behind Sivels' career night

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Senior guard Quamir Sivels lays in two of his career-high 26 points in Wednesday's upset win over Lumberton. Senior guard Quamir Sivels lays in two of his career-high 26 points in Wednesday's upset win over Lumberton. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LUMBERTON — The third time was a charm for the Richmond Senior High School boys’ basketball team when it played Lumberton on Wednesday.

Seeing the second round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament moved up one night due to the possibility of inclement weather, the No. 3 Raiders upset the No. 2 Pirates on their home floor and advanced to their second straight SAC tournament title game.

Snapping a two-game skid to Lumberton, the Raiders used two 20-plus point scoring performances and two double-doubles to sink the Pirates 67-54.

Senior shooting guard Quamir Sivels netted a career-high 26 points in the win, while junior wing Caleb Hood followed his big game Tuesday with a double-double, netting 21 points and grabbing a team-high 14 boards.

“We were patient tonight and we really tried to control the tempo,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said following the game. “PJ (McLaughlin) did a really good job of doing that. We ran more sets than the first two times we played them and that helped us.

“Quamir has been battling an ankle injury all year and he’s not 100 percent,” he continued. “In back-to-back games, I knew it would be tough on him. But the guys wanted him to play, and he came out and played hard for all 32 minutes.”

Only four Raiders would score points in the upset win. Following Sivels and Hood was junior forward Nygie Stroman with 14 points and 10 rebounds. McLaughlin ended the game with six points and five boards.

“Caleb is a freak of nature,” Pettigrew smiled. “He’s playing with such a high level of intensity and that’s been big for us.”

Lumberton senior point guard Jordan McNeill, who was a big part of the Pirates’ two wins against Richmond in the regular season, scored a team-high 18 points. Dwayne Davis chipped in 11 points and the Raider defense held shooting guard Charlie Miller to just five points.

Both teams battled back and forth in the first quarter, seeing Richmond take a 14-12 lead after the first eight minutes. Sivels got started with eight points, including the first of his team-high two three-pointers.

Hood added a bucket and two free throws and Stroman connected on a shot under the basket.

Opening the second quarter on a 12-4 run, Lumberton took a five-point lead, 23-18, with 3:17 left in the half. But a Sivels triple from the top of the key, a Hood drive and a foul and two free throws from Stroman gave the Raiders a one-point advantage in the closing seconds.

Miller scored his final points of the night, draining a deep three-pointer with 11.5 seconds left to give the Pirates a 28-26 lead at the break.

“On defense, when McNeill got the ball, we were trying to lineup with Miller,” Pettigrew explained. “He’s a heck of a shooter and he hurt us the last two games. So we tried to match up with him and I think we did a better job of transition defense, too.”

With the game tied at 30 points in the early part of the third quarter, Stroman hit a three-pointer from the right wing. That basket started a 14-7 run by the Raiders to close the final 5:10. Sivels tacked on seven more points, including an old-fashioned three-point play.

Hood was strong in the paint, driving the crowded lane for six more points, and McLaughlin got on the board for the first time with two foul shots.

To start the final stanza, leading 44-37, Sivels and Stroman each hit a pair of free throws. A floater from McLaughlin extended the lead, and Hood brought Richmond fans to their feet following a monster two-handed baseline jam on an outlet pass at the 4:30 mark.

But the Pirates wouldn’t go away quietly, rallying on a 7-0 run themselves, getting four more points from McNeill. The final of those four points from the senior pulled Lumberton within four points, 52-48, with 3:19 to go.

That’s as close as the Pirates would get to completing the comeback, as a pair of Stroman jams on back-to-back possessions highlighted a 15-6 spurt to secure the Raiders’ trip back to the SAC tournament title game.

Shooting from the line proved pivotal for the Raiders, who as a team went 24-of-25 from the charity stripe. Sivels was a perfect 12-for-12, including making six in the final stanza. 

“It was a heck of a game tonight and Coach Edwards always has his guys ready to play,” Pettigrew said. 

“Man, we are very excited to be going back to the championship game,” Pettigrew closed. “This is where we wanted to be. Since we knew we were going to finish third or fourth, we wanted to focus on winning the tournament.”

The Raiders (19-7) will contend for an SAC tournament title on Friday, weather permitting, on the road at No. 1 Pinecrest High School. The Patriots (23-3) defeated No. 5 Seventy-First High School on Tuesday.

During the regular season, Richmond and Pinecrest split the two game series, each winning on their home court by three points. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in Southern Pines.

VIDEO: To hear from Quamir Sivels and Caleb Hood following the upset win, click here.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 February 2020 20:28

Kyle Pillar

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

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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