ROCKINGHAM — A handful of missed free throws, courtesy of Seventy-First, kept the Raiders within striking distance late in fourth quarter of Wednesday’s night’s game. They failed to capitalize, however, and dropped their fourth conference game of the season.
Layups from junior guards Bobby Terry and Malik Stanback kicked off the final stanza and gave the Richmond boys basketball team its first lead since halftime. That momentum wouldn’t carry over the next couple of minutes, though, as Seventy-First answered with six straight points in order to take a five-point lead.
Richmond (5-8, 1-4 SAC) would turn the ball over and miss some key shots — and free throws — down the stretch and end up dropping a 64-58 decision to the Falcons in its first game after the holiday break.
Wednesday’s game started in the favor of Seventy-First (8-5, 2-3 SAC), as it opened the matchup on an 8-0 run thanks to Brion McLaurin’s early layup and three-pointer. Richmond’s Alex Quick would quiet things down with a three of his own, and then a few minutes later senior forward Malik Flowers cut the deficit to just three points with a slam.
The Raiders, after going back and forth in the second period, jogged into the locker room with a 32-31 lead after Flowers’ putback on a missed layup from senior guard Darrius Butler.
Seventy-First gradually built a lead coming out of the half and forced Richmond to call a timeout after a fastbreak bucket from Alejandro Ford. The visiting team held a slim three-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
In his first game in almost a month, junior forward Xavier Pettigrew scored 15 points to lead the team. Seniors Malik Flowers and Da’Shaun Wallace were the only other Raiders in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
INGRAM, LADY RAIDERS SLOW DOWN IN 2ND HALF
ROCKINGHAM — Lexyonna Ingram’s scoring effort wasn’t enough to help the Lady Raiders open the new year with a victory.
Despite Ingram’s 20-point performance, which led all scorers Wednesday night, Richmond (3-7, 1-4 SAC) had no answer for Seventy-First’s pressure in the second half — struggling to both produce points and maintain possession of the ball.
When it was all said and done, the Lady Raiders’ eight-point halftime deficit blossomed into a 61-47 loss on their home court. Taliah Wall, junior, and Allexis Swiney, sophomore, combined for 20 points on the night.
It was a sluggish start for both teams, who haven’t played in more than two weeks, as turnovers and missed shots ruled the opening minutes. The Lady Falcons would take control early, however, and end the first quarter with a 12-6 lead behind four points from both Gloria Smith and Daireanna McIntyre.
Swiney, a sophomore guard, got things going for Richmond in the second period with a three-pointer and a free throw after a steal. The home team would hit a snag for a few minutes, but Ingram would put an end to the scoring drought with a couple of made shots from in close.
Seventy-First (7-6, 3-3 SAC) began pulling away in the second half once its defensive pressure picked up.
Baskets from Smith (18 points), McIntyre (12 points) and Taylar Allen (10 points) extended the Lady Falcons’ lead and helped them go ahead by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.