ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior boys basketball team won the coin toss over the weekend and will now enter the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Due to Richmond (18-5, 7-3 SEC) and Pinecrest (20-4, 7-3 SEC) splitting the two matchups and finishing the regular season with identical records in the coneference, second place had to be decided by the flip of a coin. Pinecrest sat alone in the No. 2 spot until this past Friday, when it lost to Hoke County and Richmond defeated Scotland.
Richmond, along with No. 1 seeded Hoke, enjoyed a bye in the first round of the SEC boys tournament — which began Monday. The Raiders will host No. 3 seed Pinecrest at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, while Hoke will take on Lumberton in the second round.
“I think the bye, it’s a great thing,” coach David Laton said Monday. “We got a chance to practice tonight and get some more preparation tomorrow.”
Pinecrest got the best of Richmond in the first meeting, as it held the Raiders to just 70 points in a loss on their home floor. Things went differently the second time around, however. Leon Zeigler, Tone Diggs and Jordan Tillman combined for 42 points and helped Richmond to a 77-67 win on the road.
“It’s all about us, not about somebody else,” Laton added. “We need to continue to play the way we’re playing. We’re playing really well right now.”
On the girls side, the Lady Raiders finished as the No. 4 team in the conference and will host No. 5 seed Scotland at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. If they win that first-round matchup, the Lady Raiders will travel to No. 1 seed Lumberton on Thursday.
“I think the most important thing is that we continue to do what we need to do in order to be successful at the end of the night — and that is taking care of the ball, having tough defense and securing rebounds,” girls coach Rosalind McDonald said.
For the third time this season, Richmond (10-10, 5-5 SEC) will be looking to take down Scotland (8-13, 2-8 SEC). Its first win over the Lady Scots, a 18-point victory, took place in Raider Gymnasium. Four Lady Raiders would score in double figures and help the team win its fourth straight game.
The girls traveled to Laurinburg this past Friday and snuck away with a 40-34 win after Zariah Williams made back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to give Richmond some momentum in the final period.
“While our conference play is over, our season is not over,” McDonald added. “I’m just making sure they’re staying focused, taking one game at a time and taking each game as serious as they need to take it. And I think they’re prepared to do that going into playing Scotland tomorrow night.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.