ROCKINGHAM — Davina LeGrande looked over the Lumberton defense and decided to drive the ball to the basket.
LeGrande wasn’t sure if anyone was going to try and stop her, so she kept going forward. In fact she made it all the way to the hoop for the layup.
“The lane was wide open so I said why not and take the open layup,” LeGrande said. “I was either going to hit the shot or get the foul. I was waiting for a foul to be called but she wasn’t pressuring me that much.”
Even though it was only LeGrande’s second basket of the night, it was the go-ahead score that spurred Richmond Senior to a 45-42 victory over Lumberton Friday night at Raider Gymnasium.
Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate thought this could be a much-needed morale booster for her point guard.
“I’m very, very proud of her for taking control of the game,” DeFrate said. “She had a tough game last time. I know there are some people who question why we still use her at point guard. She has the ability to be a great point guard, she just needs the confidence.”
LeGrande was quick to mention confidence as well after the game. However, it wasn’t about her, it was about the team.
“This gives us the confidence to go into the next game with positive thoughts,” LeGrande said.
The win lifts the Raiders to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
Lumberton (10-5, 1-1) had two opportunities to tie the contest or take the lead after LeGrande’s layup but were unable to take advantage of them.
The first possession ended when Jasmine McBride was called for travelling at midcourt with 16.7 remaining in the game. The final chance came six seconds later when Lumberton was awarded the ball after forcing a held ball.
Randi Bullard launched a possible game-tying jumper, but it bounced off the rim. Richmond’s Jade Evans pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 1.6 left. She hit 1 of 2 free throws for the final margin as Lumberton was unable to get off a desperation shot before the horn sounded.
Lumberton coach Danny Graham credited the Raiders for playing good defense and disrupting his team’s offense.
“I think their press had a lot to do with the game,” Graham said. “I thought their defensive pressure was the key to the game. It was a hard-fought game and could have gone either way. I thought they were more aggressive.”
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Wednesday when it plays host to Purnell Swett. Lumberton will square off with Hoke 6 p.m. Tuesday in Raeford.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.