RAEFORD — Hoke’s McDonald Gymnasium has been a house of horrors recently for the Richmond Senior boys basketball team.
The Raiders had lost four straight road games to the Bucks and it seemed as if the home team would add another, leading by seven in the fourth quarter.
Instead of making it five in a row, Richmond responded behind the hot shooting of Tre Pettigrew to pull out a 75-70 victory over Hoke Friday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools.
“Any place is a house of horrors when you have a Division I player like they did,” Richmond coach David Laton said about former Hoke standout Tarique Thompson, who is now at High Point. “This is a tough place to win and I give my guys the credit because they fought back.”
Richmond (9-4, 1-0) trailed 61-54 before Pettigrew seeming put the team on his back. Pettigrew scored 13 points during a 17-9 run and drained four 3-point field goals during this stretch. One of Pettigrew’s 3-pointers pushed the Raiders in front for good at 71-70 with 57 seconds remaining in the game.
“I was in the zone,” Pettigrew said. “I felt like I was open so I took the shot. I needed to do something to help us out.”
Pettigrew finished with 18 points, 16 in the second half, but was saddled with foul trouble for the majority of the game and fouled out with 43.9 seconds left.
Pettigrew’s fifth foul sent Jon Maynor to the free-throw line with a chance for Hoke to re-take the lead. Before the free throws, Laton elected to use back-to-back timeouts to freeze Maynor. The strategy paid off as Maynor missed both attempts.
“I wanted the sophomore to think about them for a while,” Laton said.
On the ensuing possession, Pettigrew’s replacement, Octavius Patterson, was fouled and went to the line for a one-and-one. Patterson hit both free throws to stretch the margin to three.
“He was fouled hard and he hit both,” Laton said. “Those were two big free throws.”
Hoke (5-9, 0-1) was unable to find the range on its next three shots, allowing Richmond to escape with the win.
Richmond’s Greg Patterson led all scorers with 23 points, 15 in the first half. T.J. McLaurin added a season-high 12 points in the win. KeShawn Shaw netted 16 for the Bucks and Maynor netted 14.
The Raiders are scheduled to return to action 7:30 p.m. Friday when they welcome Lumberton to Raider Gymnasium.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.