ROCKINGHAM — Four Richmond Senior basketball players, three boys and one girl, were named to the All-Southeastern Conference team because of their performances during the 2016-2017 season.
Tone Diggs, C.J. McDaniel and Leon Zeigler represents the Richmond boys, while Zelda McLaughlin is the lone Lady Raider on the list. All four players wrapped up their senior seasons last week in the state playoffs.
“It’s great. I thought those three were our most consistent players,” boys coach David Laton said. “They were our captains — our Roman triumvirates.”
Diggs’ shooting ability was unmatched in the conference, as he knocked down at least four 3-pointers in a game on more than five occassions. The senior guard buried a career-high eight threes in a comeback win over Lumberton early last month. He would finish the season averaging 14.3 points a game.
“He’s probably got more range than anybody I’ve ever coached,” Laton added.
McDaniel used his athleticism to attack the rim and make tough layups on a consistent basis. He was also a reliable shooter from beyond the arc, grabbed more rebounds than any guard on the team and provided leadership on and off the court. McDaniel was the third leading scorer for the Raiders, putting up 12.6 points per outing.
Zeigler was the team’s leading scorer (16.5 ppg) and was the only player on the boys team who was named All-SEC for the second consecutive year. His two biggest scoring outputs came last week in the state playoffs, pouring in 42 points in a win over Vance in the first round last Tuesday and 38 points at Butler in the second round last Thursday.
His scoring and playmaking ability is what allowed him to produce at such a high level night in and night out.
“If we would’ve been able to top Hoke, Leon would’ve won league MVP,” Laton added.
Laton made sure to mention the impact Jordan Tillman had this season although he didn’t make the all-conference team, saying the senior forward “didn’t get the recognition he should have.”
All four athletes, Tillman included, played a part in an unprecedented season, as the Raiders broke state records (most points in a quarter, most 100-point games in a season), school records (most points in a game) and led the nation in scoring (100.9 ppg) — according to MaxPreps.com.
As for McLaughlin, her presence down low — on both ends of the floor — kept the Lady Raiders afloat in a few games. Richmond had some young talent that produced this past season, but McLaughlin’s experience and timely scoring ability was key in certain stretches.
During the team’s four-game win streak during the month of January, McLaughlin averaged 13.3 points. This is the second year in a row she was named all-conference and led the Lady Raiders in scoring.
Hoke’s D’Coda Cummings and Mahogany Matthews won boys and girls SEC Player of the Year, respectively. Quame Patterson (Hoke) was named SEC Boys Coach of the Year, while Danny Graham (Lumberton) was named SEC Girls Coach of the Year.
Full list of the 2016-2017 SEC award winners and all-conference teams:
Player of the Year: D’Coda Cummings (Hoke)
Coach of the Year: Quame Patterson (Hoke)
Player of the Year: Mahogany Matthews (Hoke)
Coach of the Year: Danny Graham (Lumberton)
Boys All-SEC team
Tyrell Almond (Pinecrest)
D’Coda Cummings (Hoke)
Tone Diggs (Richmond)
Donnie Haith (Pinecrest)
Stephon Lloyd (Lumberton)
Silas Love (Hoke)
Tyreik McCallum (Lumberton)
C.J. McDaniel (Richmond)
Kyler Page (Purnell Swett)
Andre Pegues (Hoke)
Niem Ratliffe (Scotland)
Leon Zeigler (Richmond)
Girls All-SEC team
Madison Canady (Lumberton)
Desaree Dunham (Purnell Swett)
Destiny Hardin (Lumberton)
Janiyah Harrington (Hoke)
Tamaya Leak (Pinecrest)
Mahogany Matthews (Hoke)
Jasmine McBride (Lumberton)
Keayna McLaughlin (Pinecrest)
Zelda McLaughlin (Richmond)
Amaya Pegues (Scotland)
Khasiya Sellers (Scotland)
London Thompson (Lumberton)
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
Richmond Senior’s Zelda McLaughlin was the lone Lady Raider who made the All-SEC team for her performance this past season.
Richmond Senior’s Leon Zeigler and Tone Diggs (3) were two of three players from the boys basketball team who were named to the All-Southeastern Conference team. Zeigler and Diggs were Richmond’s top two scorers, averaging 16.5 and 14.3 points, respectively. C.J. McDaniel was the other Raider who was selected to the all-conference team.