SOUTHERN PINES — Participating in the Holiday in the Pines tournament has not gone as well as the Richmond varsity basketball team would have hoped. Historically, Richmond has struggled when playing at James Moore Gymnasium on the campus of Pinecrest High School, and this week has been no exception.
One Wednesday, the Raiders clashed with the Lions of Trinity School. Aided by Bobby Terry’s six first-quarter points and an 11-2 run by the Raiders to end the first half, Richmond went into the break with a surprising 13-10 lead over the Durham-based Private School.
Trinity junior Noah Dinkins put his team on his shoulders in the second half. With 4:58 left in the third, he went on a tear recording 12 points and four blocks in the next eight and half minutes. He tied the game at 47-all on an old-fashioned three-point play with 4:29 remaining in the game.
After the two teams traded points over the next three minutes of play, Richmond found reason to celebrate when Malik Stanback drained a 3-pointer putting Richmond up 56-55 with only 26 seconds remaining.
When Trinity failed to find an open look, they called a timeout with just 12 seconds remaining. The Lions put the ball in the hands of Jayden Smith who found a lane and took the ball straight to the basket, getting fouled on his way up. The ball was knocked away, but Smith converted the two free-throw shots, putting the Lions ahead 57-56 with just 8 seconds left.
Richmond managed to take two shots in the final moments, but both were off target and Trinity took the round one win.
Malik Flowers and Malik Stanback each had 13 for the Raiders in the loss. Bobby Terry was the only other double-digit scorer at 12.
On Thursday evening, the Raiders squared off against the Golden Hawks of Holly Springs High School. Unlike their round one game which stayed pretty close from start to finish, Richmond fell behind early and was never able to recover.
After the Golden Hawks scored the game’s first nine points, Richmond’s Darius Butler ended the run with a layup with 5:16 remaining in the first quarter. That seven-point deficit is the closest the Raiders would get from that point on.
The Hawks’ leading scorer, Erik Alvey, was limited to just two first-quarter points, but the senior guard made up for it. He scored 10 of Holly Springs’ 13 second quarter points and finished with an impressive 30 on the game.
The Raiders would trail by as many as 17 in the third quarter, but would fight their way back late. After Alvey hit one of two free-throw attempts with 4:42 remaining in the third, the Raiders trailed 41-23. The Raiders then went on a 16-8 run ending with a deep three-pointer by Roderick Newton to cut the deficit to 10 with only 1:04 remaining in the third.
However, Alvey got hot again scoring 11 early in the final period helping his team to increase the lead back to 16 and allowing the Golden Hawks to clear the bench. Holly Springs went on to defeat Richmond 77-63.
Malik Stanback was the leading scorer for the Raiders netting 18, Darius Butler had 15, Roderick Newton scored 11, and Malik Flowers finished with 10.
Richmond will play in round three of the tournament today at 4:30. Their opponent was unknown at press time.
The Raiders entered the tournament on a three-game winning streak and showing signs of recovery following a dismal 1-5 start.