ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond boys basketball team was in position to become only the second team this season to take down Hoke County, but Dakari Johnson had other plans for the visiting team.
Johnson, a senior guard, knocked down a three-pointer at the end of first quarter to bring Hoke within a point, and then sparked an 8-0 run in the second stanza — which gave the Bucks a lead they would hold onto for the rest of the night.
He would knock down five three-pointers on his way to a game-high 23 points and lead Hoke County to a 73-59 victory over Richmond, who was enjoying a two-game win streak after wins over Jack Britt and New Life Christian Academy last week.
The Raiders (7-13, 3-8 SAC) got off to a strong start in the opening period with a combined scoring effort from Malik Flowers, Malik Stanback, Bobby Terry and Da’Shaun Wallace. Stanback scored five points in the quarter while Flowers, Terry and Wallace each chipped in four.
But the scoring slowed down in the second quarter due to turnovers on offense and lapses on defense. Johnson got Hoke back into the game with a make from downtown that tied things up at 21-all, freshman guard Jaquante Harris followed with a three of his own, and then Johnson capped the run with a baseline floater — causing Richmond head coach Donald Pettigrew to call a timeout.
Hoke County (18-1, 10-0 SAC) got 13 points from both Harris and senior big man Silas Love and nine more from senior guard Jaleel Ray. Senior center Jalen Love chipped in six.
Flowers and Stanback were Richmond’s leading scorers, each netting 13 points in the loss. Junior guard Rod Newton made three treys to add nine points to the home team’s scoring total.
GIRLS’ LATE PUSH HITS WALL
ROCKINGHAM — Tuesday night’s conference battle gained a new life in the fourth quarter after a couple of players off the Lady Raiders’ bench made some timely baskets in the closing minutes.
Moments after Hoke County grabbed a 12-point lead, its largest of the game, junior forward Dannon Shepard and sophomore guard Keionna Love combined for nine points to help bring the home team within five. Shepard hit a three-pointer from the left wing and then Love followed with six straight points — four free throws and a layup.
Richmond (5-10, 3-7 SAC) couldn’t keep the momentum, however, and eventually fell 52-44 to the Lady Bucks.
Taliah Wall led the Lady Raiders with 16 points on the night, scoring eight of their 10 points in the first quarter. The junior guard jumped the passing lanes early and turned a few Hoke County turnovers into points.
The second quarter began as if Richmond was on track to taking over the game, as its quick 4-0 run in the opening minutes forced the Lady Bucks to call a timeout. Hailey Miller scored off an assist from fellow sophomore Allexis Swiney, who then capped the four-point swing with a layup of her own following a steal and pass from Wall.
Hoke County (7-11, 5-5 SAC) got itself together in the timeout and regained the lead for good once it stepped back on the court. Mahogany Matthews, the reigning conference player of the year, finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 blocks — the second double-double she’s recorded against Richmond this season.
Swiney was second for the home team with 11 points and Love finished with nine. Shepard’s three was her only points of the game, as was Miller’s layup in the second stanza. Senior forward Lexyonna Ingram chipped in two points and sophomore forward Anajah Redfern added one.
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.