Round One goes to the Lady Pirates, as Lumberton took advantage of an off shooting night by the Lady Raiders to post a dominating 67-42 win.
The Pirates (12-2 overall, 3-0 SEC) opened the game with an 8-2 run and never trailed.
“I thought the key was our defensive play,” said Lumberton coach Danny Graham.
“About 70 percent of our practice time focuses on defense, and I think it paid off tonight.”
Graham said the Lady Pirates also stuck together well as a team and played unselfishly on offense.
That was reflected in the scorebook, with three Lumberton players in double figures: Jensine Alverez with 15 points; Demilia Brooks with 13; and Leandra Oxendine with 12.
“When we get that kind of balance, we’re successful,” Graham said.
You could tell early on what kind of night it was going to be for Richmond Senior (11-2, 2-1).
The Lady Raiders missed their first six shots, including several bunnies and layups.
The Lady Raiders did not score their first bucket until the 3:09 mark of the first stanza.
Lumberton jumped out to an early 13-4 lead.
But the Lady Raiders responded with a 7-0 run to close to within two at 13-11.
The Lady Pirates pushed out to an eight-point lead in the second quarter and led by six at intermission.
Richmond opened the second half on a good note, with the first four points of the period to close to within two at 23-21.
But that was as close as the Lady Raiders would get. Lumberton put together a 21-5 run that basically put the game away.
Down 44-26, the Lady Raiders closed the third quarter with five straight points to pull back to within 13 at 44-31.
However, Lumberton opened the final period with an 11-1 run and coasted to the conference win from there.
“It just wasn’t our night,” said Richmond Senior interim coach Nellie Harrington.
“We missed way too many shots. “
Indeed, many of those missed shots came at the free-throw line, where the Lady Raiders were 10-for-30.
There was no school on Friday, and Harrington said that may have thrown the Lady Raiders off their routine.
“We got down, and we didn’t fight back the way we usually do,” Harrington said.
LaShey Brown and I’Teionna McLaughlin led the Lady Raiders with 12 points each.
The Lady Raiders will have an entire week to regroup: They don’t play again until next Friday night, when they will travel to Pinecrest for a 6 p.m. game.
Lumberton is also off until Friday. The Lady Raiders host Scotland at 6 p.m. in another key SEC contest.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or via email at email@example.com.