ROCKINGHAM — Despite Malik Stanback’s career night, in which the junior knocked down five three-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points, the Richmond boys basketball team was unable to take down Pinecrest.
The Raiders (1-3, 1-1 SAC) found themselves on the wrong end of a second-quarter run and couldn’t quite make their way back into the game after the half. They would eventually fall to the Patriots 64-51 on their home floor.
“Ben (Snyder) did a good job of getting his guys to set screens for one another — putting a lot of pressure on our defense,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said. “We’ve got to do a better job, the next time we play them, on helping out.”
Richmond scored the first bucket of the game — a floater from senior forward Malik Flowers — but the Patriots were the ones who got off to a fast start. Back-to-back threes from Jamaan Bailey and Jayson Jones and a layup from Tyrell Almond put the visiting team ahead 8-2 in the early going.
Stanback didn’t let things get out of hand, however, as he scored the Raiders’ next 13 points — nine coming from beyond the arc — in order to help them pull within five points at the end of the first quarter.
“He can shoot it. He’s been waiting to find his stroke,” Pettigrew said. “That was big for us and that’s going to help us going forward. We’ve just got to come together and get more team-oriented when it comes to scoring.”
Aside from the 21 points that Stanback contributed throughout the night, the only other Richmond player to score more than four points was junior forward Xavier Pettigrew — who chipped in 15 points.
Pinecrest (7-1, 2-0 SAC) got a team-high 15 points from Almond and another 14 from Jones. They were complimented by Bailey’s nine points and a couple of eight-point performances from Kenston Gillespie and Bradlee Haskell.
“We started off in a triangle-and-two (on defense) and then we started switching everything, so that helped out a little bit but it was still tough,” Pettigrew said. “I may have stayed in that a little too long.”
LOVE ‘SHOWED HER GAME’ IN LOSS
ROCKINGHAM — The Lady Raiders started creating turnovers late in the fourth quarter but their efforts were a little too late, and Pinecrest escaped Raider Gymnasium with a 62-52 victory.
“We always tell them that they have to fight until the end. Even when you’re down just a little bit, there’s still opportunities for us to come back and make defensive plays,” head coach Rosalind McDonald said.
Richmond (1-3, 1-1 SAC) was able to take a brief 15-14 lead in the second quarter after sophomore guard Allexis Swiney grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in for her first points of the game. Over the next few minutes, however, the home team couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the basket.
Pinecrest (7-0, 2-0 SAC) took advantage of the Lady Raiders’ troubles by going on a 13-4 run that was capped off by back-to-back threes from Kelly Clark and Keayna McLaughlin — who finished with a game-high 23 points. A layup from Swiney at the 1:30 mark would put an end to the Lady Raiders’ drought and they would go into the break trailing 30-21.
“We had that conversation about not losing focus when you’re behind,” McDonald said. “We still need to execute, play tough defense and look to score the basketball…but sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way we want it to.”
Sophomore guard Keionna Love had a strong fourth quarter for Richmond, scoring 10 of her team-high 13 points in the final period. She opened with a jumper and then added a couple more layups, a three-pointer and a free throw.
Love’s scoring wasn’t enough, though, as Pinecrest held the ball at half court late in the game and forced the Lady Raiders to commit fouls. And it made enough free throws to hang on for the win.
“I think it’s great that Keionna showed up tonight. She really showed her game tonight and I don’t think we’ve seen that yet this season,” McDonald added. “Hopefully she can continue to carry that as we go into next week playing the other conference games.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at email@example.com. For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
Richmond’s Malik Stanback (52) stares as Pinecrest’s Jayson Jones sets up a play in the second half of Friday night’s game, which the Patriots won 64-51. Stanback, a junior, finished with a career-high 21 points in the loss.
Pinecrest’s Keayna McLaughlin (15) pulls up for a mid-range jumpshot as Richmond’s Lexyonna Ingram (35) contests. McLaughlin helped the Lady Patriots to a 65-52 victory with her 23 points, while Ingram finished with 11 points of her own.