ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond boys basketball team started and ended the holiday break with a victory, but it was the two losses in Southern Pines last week that kept it from going undefeated while school was out.
Things started off on a high note when the Raiders (5-7, 1-3 SAC) escaped Parkwood and then dominated Chesterfield (South Carolina) in order to win their third straight Anson County Invitational Championship two weeks ago. A combined 48 points from Da’Shaun Wallace, Malik Stanback and Malik Flowers helped the team advance to the tournament’s title game.
Richmond’s win streak was snapped, however, when it went up against Trinity of Durham and Chapel Hill in the opening round of the Holiday in the Pines Tournament last Wednesday. A three-pointer from Stanback put Richmond ahead by one point with 26 seconds left in the game but Trinity’s Jayden Smith made both of his free-throw attempts, with less than 10 seconds to go, to seal the Lions’ 57-56 victory.
The next game against Holly Springs wasn’t as close, seeing that the Raiders had no answer for senior guard Erik Alvey — who finished with 30 points — or his teammates Garrett Phillips and Kadin Shedrick, who both scored in double figures. Richmond also had three players score more than 10 points in Stanback (18), Darrius Butler (15) and Roderick Newton (11), but it wasn’t enough in a 77-62 defeat.
The Raiders didn’t walk away from the Holiday in the Pines Tournament empty-handed, though. On the last day of play, right before Pinecrest won the title, they grabbed their fifth win of the season with an 84-75 win over Windsor Forest (Georgia).
Next up, Richmond welcomes Lumberton to Raider Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 5, for an SAC matchup. Lumberton, whose last win was over Dillon (South Carolina) in the Robeson County Shootout, also boasts a 1-3 record in conference play.
“It’s all about playing good at the right time. If we’re playing good at the right time, anything can happen,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said. “We just want to continue to compete and get better as a group.”
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.