ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior boys tennis coach Paula York was very pleased after her No. 1 doubles team pulled out an 8-4 win.
When Andrew Balzer and Brandon Ingram combined to knock off Chris Stuart and Taylor Farr, it gave Richmond the deciding point in a 5-4 victory over East Montgomery Monday afternoon.
The Raiders (4-2) won the top three singles matches, while the Eagles captured the last three to tie the contest going into the doubles competition.
Richmond’s Colt Auman stopped Stuart, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 1. Balzer claimed a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) win over Farr and Ingram breezed past Conner Kellis 6-2, 6-0. East Montgomery’s Hilano Martinez, Drew Lancaster and Max McCaskill were all victorious in singles.
“The pressure was on our doubles,” York said. “We needed two wins in doubles and luckily we got them.”
Auman and Pittman defeated Kellis and McCaskill, 8-0, while Martinez and Lancaster teamed to beat Ryan Watkins and Logan Deese, 8-3, to set up the Balzer-Ingram heroics.
East Montgomery played without its No. 1 singles player, Javier Depaz. The Eagles downed the Raiders, 6-3, last week with Depaz in the lineup.
“I thought we played well, but not having their No. 1 out there really hurt them,” Ingram said. “Everyone else had to move up a spot and I think that really hurt them.”
York believes the victory will give her team some momentum heading into the two conference matches this week against Pinecrest and Scotland. The Raiders will play host to the Patriots 4 p.m. today before welcoming the Fighting Scots on Thursday.
“We have three of our toughest competition coming in this week,” York said. “We have to come out of singles tied 3-3 every match to give ourselves a chance because in doubles we have been able to hold our own.”
So far this season, the doubles pairings of Balzer-Ingram and Auman-Pittman are undefeated (6-0).
Richmond shuts out Purnell Swett
PEMBROKE — Alexie Coble scored two goals and had two assists as Richmond Senior blanked Southeastern Conference rival Purnell Swett 5-0 Monday night.
Cherie Ellerbe, Brittney McDonald and Laura Packer each added a goal for the Raiders, which hasn’t lost in their last four games.
“At the end of the game, I talked to their coach and their team and told them they are much improved,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “I told my girls they aren’t going to be able to go down there, win 9-0 and be back home by 9. They’ve improved 10-fold.”
Richmond (4-2-1, 1-1-1) will return to action 7 p.m. Wednesday when Lumberton visits Raider Stadium.
Raiders finish fourth in golf
PINEHURST — For the second straight week, the Pinecrest boys golf team breezed to a Southeastern Conference victory Monday afternoon at Pinehurst No. 5.
The Patriots finished with a team score of 280, 36 shots better than Scotland. Purnell Swett had a team total of 327, Richmond was fourth at 333, followed by Lumberton and Hoke County.
Matt Howard carded a 79 to lead the Raiders. Tyler Kirk had an 81 and Caleb Neeley finished with an 84. Jordan Buie and Drew Norton both shot an 89, Logan Parris notched a 91 and Chris McDonald fired a 94.
“The weather was rough for everybody today, it was really cold out there, but that’s not an excuse,” Richmond coach Ray Entwistle said. “I think putting really hurt us today.”
Richmond will not return to the course until 2 p.m. April 8 at Scotch Meadows in Laurinburg.
Buie hurls shutout
WILMINGTON — James Buie tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out four as Richmond Senior extended its winning streak to seven games with a 6-0 victory over New Hanover Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders (7-1) scored five runs in the fourth as Jacob Sears and Brandon Gibson each recorded run-scoring singles in the frame.
Richmond will return to action 7 p.m. today when it travels to Pembroke to face Purnell Swett.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.