ROCKINGHAM — Following the loss to Southeastern Conference power Pinecrest earlier in the week, Richmond Senior coach Bennie Howard said Wednesday's game would determine his team's playoff fate.
Even 67 minutes into its contest with Scotland, Richmond's future was still up in the air.
Then Jimmy Chaves scored on a rebound at the 13:25 mark of the second half to propel the Raiders to a 2-0 victory over the Fighting Scots. Sergio Chapparo tacked a goal of his own with just over a minute remaining in the game to seal the win.
“Sometimes that is how soccer is,” Howard sad. “We got lucky with the first goal. Their goalkeeper (Kytel Collins-Jackson) made some great saves to keep them in it. Logan (Deese) on the other end helped us. Overall it was a good team effort.”
Deese was forced to make several saves to keep Scotland off the board, including four in a nine-minute span.
“They really stepped up, they're a great team,” Deese said of the Scots.
The win clinched third place for Richmond in the league standings and a guaranteed spot in the state 4A playoffs, unless Hoke County, Purnell Swett or Scotland capture next week's conference tournament.
The Raiders will open the SEC tourney 7 p.m. Monday at home against the Rams. The winner will advance to Tuesday's semifinals against Lumberton at Scotland. Hoke County will play host to Scotland in the other opening round contest. Pinecrest, the regular season champion, will face the Hoke-Scotland winner.
In the junior varsity contest, Blake Kelly scored the game-winning goal with less than 30 minutes remain to lift Richmond to a 4-3 victory.
Ryan Ross, Manuel Zapata and Alex Alvardo each added a goal for the Raiders.
DeBerry, Davis capture titles
ROCKINGHAM — Rohanen Middle School's Tucker DeBerry captured the boys golf middle school championship and Rockingham's Natalie Davis grabbed the girls title Tuesday at Richmond Pines.
The Ellerbe boys team finished fifth as Jackson Grooms and Bryson McKenzie led the way for the Wildcats with a 106 and 124, respectively.
Ellerbe will close out its season Monday with a make-up match at Twin Valley in Wadesboro.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.