ROCKINGHAM — There is some good news and bad news for the Richmond Senior basketball teams as it enters the homestretch of the regular season.
The good news is starting next week both squads will have home games against Hoke, Pinecrest and Scotland before the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The bad news is they have one more road contest and playing away from Raider Gymnasium has been a problem for both teams. The boys are a combined 6-5 in road games and neutral court contests. The girls are a little better, posting a 6-3 mark in those games.
Things have gone much better for the Raiders at home. The boys are 6-1, with their lone loss coming on a last-second layup by Cheraw (S.C.) in the season-opener. The girls are 4-2, dropping nonconference clashes to Anson and Union Pines.
Raiders slip in conference standings
The Richmond boys team was 3-0 in the SEC heading into its contest at Pinecrest and sitting in first place. Three games later, Richmond have lost two of three and are now in a tie for second with Scotland at 4-2.
Hoke, which lost to Richmond 75-70 in the conference opener, has reeled off five straight wins and is now atop the standings with a 5-1 mark.
Scotland appeared doomed to battle Purnell Swett to stay out of the SEC cellar when it opened league play with a 1-2 mark, but since then have won three in a row. Included in this hot streak for the Scots was Wednesday night’s one-point win over the Raiders.
Lumberton and Pinecrest are both currently 2-4 and Purnell Swett is 1-5 in the SEC.
The Bucks will have a chance to move two games ahead of the Scots with a victory in tonight’s matchup. A win would also give them a sweep in the season series. Hoke still has contests with Purnell Swett, Richmond and Pinecrest to close out the regular season.
The Raiders will try to get back on the winning track against the Pirates in Lumberton. They will need to top the Patriots Monday before welcoming the Bucks Wednesday evening in a possible contest to determine the No. 1 seed in the SEC tournament.
The Patriots will square off the Rams tonight before closing out the season against the Raiders, Pirates and Bucks.
On the girls side, Scotland is a perfect 6-0 in conference play and holds a two-game lead on both Richmond and Lumberton. Hoke and Pinecrest are tied for fourth with 2-4 records and Purnell Swett is winless in six contests.
The Scots can all but clinch the regular season crown with wins in their next two games against the Bucks and the Rams before squaring off against the Pirates and Raiders next week.
The Rams have been eliminated from winning the regular season conference championship and with loss tonight to the Patriots they be the sixth seed in the conference tournament.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.