ROCKINGHAM — The switch from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone to start the fourth quarter helped the Richmond boys basketball team put an end to its five-game losing streak Friday night.
Neither Richmond nor Jack Britt had much going for them offensively throughout the conference matchup, but things got a bit too cold for the visiting Buccaneers in the first few minutes of the final stanza. And the Raiders used that to their advantage, putting enough points on the board in the meantime to escape with a 48-41 win on their home court.
It was an intense game that featured a lot of hand-clapping and physical play, especially in the second half. Senior guard Ru McNeal’s block with less than 10 seconds left in the game ruled out any chance of a Jack Britt comeback and sent him and the crowd into frenzy.
McNeal only finished with two points, but was one of nine Raiders to score at least one basket on the night. Both Alex Quick and Malik Stanback topped the team’s scoring with 10 points apiece. Junior guard Rod Newton scored nine and senior forward Malik Flowers chipped in six.
Richmond (6-12, 2-6 SAC) slipped behind in the second quarter, the only time it trailed all game, but eventually tied the game — thanks to a Stanback three-pointer — and then took a two-point lead heading into the break.
Jack Britt (7-11, 2- 7 SAC) had a new-found energy coming out of a third-quarter timeout and was able to cut into the Raiders’ lead by causing turnovers and scoring on the fastbreak. It wasn’t enough to regain a lead, however.
Da’Shaun Wallace’s only basket of the game, a wide-open layup in the fourth, put Richmond ahead by seven points — its largest lead of the game. A few moments later, Flowers slammed one home and forced the Bucs to call a timeout.
LOVE, SWINEY’S SCORING NOT ENOUGH
ROCKINGHAM — Similar to its first meeting with Jack Britt, the Lady Raiders basketball team faltered down the stretch after having the advantage for most of the night.
Despite strong offensive performances from sophomores Keionna Love and Allexis Swiney — who combined for 33 points — Richmond couldn’t hold off the Lady Buccaneers’ late push, and fell 49-43 in front of its home crowd Friday night.
In the waning minutes of the third quarter, both teams began going back and forth following a short-corner jumper from Jack Britt’s NyQuela Bailey which tied the game at 29-all. There would be four lead changes from the time Bailey scored her only basket of the night until the quarter ended.
Love would give Richmond (5-9, 3-6 SAC) a quick two-point lead but Ashara Hayes answered with a layup after slicing through the lane. Jack Britt (8-8, 6-2 SAC) then got two more points from Lauren Moore and went into the final period with a 37-35 advantage.
The back-and-fourth would continue in the opening minutes of the fourth, but the Lady Bucs started separating themselves a bit halfway through. Kelzie Wilburn got open on an inbounds play and scored through contact, and then Moore scored a putback layup — putting her team ahead 47-42.
Love, who finished with 17 points, would score the Lady Raiders’ last point from the free-throw line.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.