ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior boys basketball team is in an unusual position this time of year — sitting atop the Southeastern Conference standings.
The Raiders are 11-4 on the season, 3-0 in league for the first time under David Laton and have won their last six straight games.
But those victories haven’t come easy.
The streak started with a nine-point win over North Moore in the consolation game at the Holiday in the Pines tournament hosted by Pinecrest. Richmond rang in the new year with a three-point victories over Anson and Marlboro County (S.C.) before turning to SEC play.
Richmond knocked off Hoke by five in to win for the first time in Raeford since Feb. 16, 2011. The team returned to action last week and stopped Lumberton by four before taking down Purnell Swett by 13 Wednesday night.
The Raiders are averaging 73 points and surrendering 65.7 points per game in their three conference contests.
Richmond will attempt to remain undefeated tonight in Southern Pines against Pinecrest. The Patriots are 4-10 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. Their lone conference win came last week against Purnell Swett, 64-49.
Hoke and Lumberton are 1-1 in league play and are tied for second behind Richmond. The Bucks and the Pirates were scheduled to square off Tuesday, but the contest was postpone because of the threat of winter weather.
Just like Pinecrest, Purnell Swett and Scotland are 1-2 in the SEC.
On the girls side, all the teams are chasing Scotland. Despite having a 5-7 overall record, the Scots are a perfect 3-0 in conference play.
Sitting one game behind its neighbor is Richmond with a 2-1 SEC mark and an 8-4 overall record.
After losing by three to Hoke in its conference opener, Richmond rebounded to knock off Lumberton by three and breezed to a 31-point win over Purnell Swett Wednesday.
The Bucks and the Pirates are a half-game behind the Raiders at 1-1. Their game Tuesday, like the boys contest, was postponed because of possible winter weather.
Pinecrest enters tonight’s game with Richmond with a 4-9 overall record and is 1-2 in the conference. The Patriots downed the Rams 53-35 last week. Purnell Swett is the lone winless team in the SEC at 0-3.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.