Monday, 21 September 2020 21:45

Lewis, McLaughlin impress during Raiders' opener in 9 Dime Fall League

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Richmond players (left to right) Dylan Lewis, Travis Thomas, Dakota Chavis, Deshon Watson and PJ McLaughlin take the floor during Saturday's game. Richmond players (left to right) Dylan Lewis, Travis Thomas, Dakota Chavis, Deshon Watson and PJ McLaughlin take the floor during Saturday's game. Contributed photo.

FAYETTEVILLE — Two rising seniors really showed out for the Raiders in Saturday’s fall league debut.


Point guard Patrick McLaughlin and wing Dylan Lewis were two of just six players to compete for Richmond in the opening weekend of the 9 Dime Fall League. And it was quite a day for the duo.

Not associated directly with high school programs or coaches, the league is giving high school players a chance to catch up on missed action due to COVID-19. It was started by Charles Clark, a regional basketball scout in the 910 area, “to do something for these guys in the fall.”

The Raiders squad is being coached by Maurice McLaurin, who is a volunteer for the Richmond basketball program. McLaurin is also the director of parks and recreation for the City of Hamlet.

“Since the guys didn’t get to play over the summer, we decided to join this league to get them tuned up for the season,” McLaurin explained.

“I told Coach (Donald) Pettigrew that I’d like to help with the program, and since we’re not having things going on in Hamlet, he was all about me helping out,” he added.  

Richmond defeated Westside (which was made up of Westover High School players) 50-36 in its only game of the day. The format was two 20-minute halves with a running clock.

The Raiders played at New Life Christian Academy, the home school for the 9 Dime Fall League.

Lewis had himself a day by scoring a team-high 21 points, including five three-pointers. He added six rebounds in the win. Clark tweeted that Lewis “caught fire early” in the game to help the Raiders set the pace.

McLaughlin wasn’t far behind with 10 points, the only other Raider to reach double digits. Running the point, McLaughlin dished out three assists and grabbed two boards. Clark noted that McLaughlin is a “strong guard that brings energy and effort on both ends of the court.”

Also contributing on the scoresheet for the Raiders were rising juniors Deshon Watson (8 points, 5 rebounds) and Xavier Collazo (4 points, 2 boards). 

Rising sophomore Dakota Chavis netted four points but was big in getting his teammates the ball, notching four assists and a team-high seven rebounds. The final player to contribute was senior Travis Thomas, a recent move-in from Garner Magnate High School. Thomas finished the game with three points and six rebounds.

“Going into it, we only had six guys and knew they might get tired,” McLaurin explained. “But between the six of them, they played the whole game and didn’t get tired. The guys played really hard and played together as a team. 

“The big thing was how great our defense played on Saturday. It was a great day for us.”

McLaurin said Lewis is one of the better shooters on the team and that he was given the green light against Westside. Of McLaughlin, McLaurin noted he ran the offense and defense well, and facilitated the ball when necessary to his teammates.

“I think the way the guys played is the start of a really special season,” McLaurin closed.

The team will be back in action Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and play the host school New Life Christian Academy.

Last modified on Monday, 21 September 2020 21:55
Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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