LAURINBURG — The Richmond boys basketball team’s season came to an end Tuesday evening with a 59-54 loss at rival Scotland in the first round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference Tournament.
Senior guard Da’Shaun Wallace finished with a team-high 14 points in the last game of his high-school career, leading a second-quarter run off the bench that helped the Raiders go into halftime with a six-point lead. Darrius Butler, also a senior, scored eight points in the loss, as did sophomores Zarmodd Ellerbe and Jarvis Tillman.
“The guys played hard and left it all out on the floor tonight. They played from the beginning to the end, which is what we’ve been trying to do all year,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said. “Hats off to our seniors.”
No. 7 Richmond (7-18) struggled to stay consistent throughout, as it opened the rivalry matchup with some strong defensive possessions that helped it take an early 7-2 lead — thanks to a triple from junior Malik Stanback and a couple of layups from junior varsity call-up Quamir Sivells.
But some bad shots mixed in with a turnover led to the home team going ahead by a point, courtesy of a corner three-pointer from senior guard Janoah McRae. Scotland would end the first quarter with a 10-7 advantage.
Although they experienced a slight scoring drought at the end of the first quarter, it didn’t take the Raiders too long to find their touch in the second period. Wallace entered the game and hit a baseline jumper to put his team ahead 13-12, and it held on to that lead until the half.
No. 2 Scotland (17-7) slowly chipped away at the Raiders’ lead after the break, as its hustle on the defensive end led to another lead change — this time in the home team’s favor. When the third quarter was over, it held a slim three-point lead.
“It’s been all year, the first 16 minutes we play well and then we die down towards the end (of the game). I’ve got to do a better job as a coach getting guys ready and putting them in better positions to score,” Pettigrew said.
There were some opportunities for the Raiders to take the lead in the final stanza, but its shots just wouldn’t fall.
Instead of Wallace connecting on a floater that would’ve resulted in another lead change, the shot rimmed out and the Scots answered with another McRae three-pointer — giving them a 44-40 lead.
Moments later, after Tillman’s jumper from the short corner brought Richmond within two, it got a stop on defense and brought in the rebound. Stanback would end up with the ball on the wing and create enough space to launch one from deep, but his shot hit the side of the rim and ended up in Scotland’s possession.
The Fighting Scots put a few more points on the board and eventually wrapped things up by forcing a turnover and then getting the ball to junior forward Isaiah Bostick, who jammed it home to give them a 10-point lead.
A couple of three-pointers from Butler and Sivells cut the Raiders’ deficit to single digits.
“I told the young guys to remember this season because it’s time to get on our grind,” Pettigrew said. “We’ve got a chance to be really good next year, but we have to work hard this summer.”
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.