Defense leads the way for Richmond
By Shawn Stinson
PEMBROKE — It was just fine the Richmond Senior girls basketball team was held to its second-lowest offensive total this season.
That is because the defense limited the opposition to a season-low in points allowed as Richmond pulled away for a 43-17 Southeastern Conference victory over Purnell Swett Tuesday night.
“A slow start,” Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate said. “We came out sluggish. We couldn’t connect on easy shots.”
The rough beginning could be attributed to Richmond having 10 days off since its last game because of last week’s winter storm. The Raiders only scored in double figures in the second and fourth quarters.
Purnell Swett, on the other hand, battled its in-county rival Lumberton Monday night, and was held scoreless in the first period and scored a season-low.
“We had no energy tonight,” DeFrate said. “I don’t know why, except maybe they are saving it up for the rest of the week.”
Bre Everett came off the bench to connect on back-to-back jumpers from the free-throw line to stretch Richmond’s advantage back to 14 after Purnell Swett attempted to mount a late rally in the fourth quarter.
“Coach (Ted) Gaskins tells us to find us a shot and keep shooting it,” Everett said. “My shot is from right there.”
DeFrate praised the effort by Everett as well as Heaven Smith for providing some much needed spark for the team.
“There would be times when a couple of players at a time would have some energy,” DeFrate said. “Then something would happen on defense and they would hang their heads. I thought Bre and Heaven played with a lot of energy.”
Richmond will return to court 6 p.m. today against Scotland. The Scots improved to 5-0 in conference play with a 51-22 win over Pinecrest. Scotland is now 5-0 in the SEC and Richmond is a game behind at 4-1. Lumberton defeated Hoke 43-40 and stands at 4-2 in league play.
“I think it is hard for the players to take it game by game with three games this week,” DeFrate said. “We try to tell them to take it one game at a time but it’s hard for a teenager to do.”
Jade Evans scored a game-high 13 points for the Raiders and was the only player from both teams to reach double figures.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.
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