SOTY, Honorable Mention: Lady Raiders claim bragging rights in rivalry again

By: By Leon Hargrove Jr. - Sports Editor
Daily Journal file photo Richmond’s Chloe Wiggins (12) dribbles as Scotland’s Emma Herr (16) and Willow Hollman (44) close in to defend during a conference match on April 25, 2018. In the teams’ first meeting, Wiggins finished with a goal and two assists to help the Lady Raiders to a 4-0 victory.
Daily Journal file photo Richmond’s Allexis Swiney, left, looks to set up the offense while being guarded by Scotland’s Mylasia Pratt (10) in the regular-season finale on February 9, 2018. Swiney was one of three players to reach double figures when the Lady Raiders went into Laurinburg and escaped with a nine-point victory.

Just like they did last year, Richmond’s girls programs, from volleyball season to softball season, dominated their head-to-head matchups with conference rival Scotland during the 2017-18 school campaign.

Of the 11 games played — which doesn’t include bowling, cross country, golf, swimming and track meets — the Lady Raiders went 10-1 overall. The soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball teams all won their battles with Scotland. The basketball team was the lone girls squad to fall at the hands of the Lady Scots, splitting its two contests during the winter season.

Those showdowns may not have brought out the number of fans who attend the annual football game between Richmond and Scotland, but the fight shown in each girls game displayed how much bragging rights mean to the two rival schools.

WHAT HAPPENED

Basketball — Richmond struck first back in early January, as three players (Saleemah Brown, Allexis Swiney, Taliah Wall) finished in double figures to lead the team to a 54-43 victory on the road. Scotland got the last laugh, however, grabbing a close 51-48 victory in overtime, on Richmond’s Senior Night, thanks to Niara Leach’s 20-point effort.

Bowling — It was a rough first season for the girls bowling team, as it finished seventh in the conference standings, but the year of experience will bode well for the team as it prepares for the upcoming season.

Cross country — Ariel Brown led the Lady Raiders to a first-place finish in their season-opening meet, which featured Scotland, at Luther Britt Park. Also there to witness Brown’s winning time (23:57) were conference foes Purnell Swett and Seventy-First. Shelby Matheson and Gracelyn Weatherford, too, finished in the top 10 for Richmond.

Golf — Richmond consistently outscored the Lady Scots during the season but couldn’t find its way around Pinecrest and Jack Britt, and often settled for third place during the regular season. Hailey Miller was the only golfer to shoot well enough at Regionals in order to advance to the state tournament.

Soccer — The Lady Raiders shut out Scotland in both meetings this past season, winning 4-0 the first time around and then completing the season sweep with a 3-0 victory at home nearly a month later. Hanna Millen combined for three goals in the two matches; Jayana Nicholson netted a goal in each game; and both Morgan Hooks and Chloe Wiggins scored once in the first bout between the two rivals.

Softball — Owen Bowers’ two-run homer at the top of the first inning set the tone for team’s 10-1 win at Scotland, but it was a completely different story when the Lady Scots made the trip to Richmond two days later. In the second game, Scotland took a 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning and was threatening to hand the Lady Raiders their first conference loss in two years. A couple of seventh-inning homers from Bri Baysek and Greyson Way and a walk-off, two-run single from Payton Chappell saved Senior Night and the team’s undefeated SAC record.

Swimming — There wasn’t much focus put into the rivalry during the teams’ inaugural season in the water — they were too busy trying to avoid disqualifications as they were learning the rules and regulations. Richmond did, however, only finish behind Pinecrest and Jack Britt, the conference’s most experienced programs, in the final standings.

Tennis — Both of the girls tennis team’s victories over Scotland had the same score (8-1) and featured a golden set in the No. 6 singles. The first win took place on the road in September and was highlighted by Chloe Wiggins’ perfect performance in the last singles spot. When Richmond closed the regular season against the Lady Scots the following month, it was Emily Parsons who earned a golden set at No. 6 in order to complete the team’s sweep on the singles.

Track and field — Every time the Lady Raiders competed in a meet that involved Scotland, even if they didn’t place first, they placed ahead of their rival. Head coach Reggie Miller and his girls won the first meet of the season and the conference meet that took place at Jack Britt behind dominant performances from Crystal Johnson and Taliah Wall.

They almost doubled the Lady Scots’ points at the conference championship meet last month.

Volleyball — Richmond met up with Scotland on three occasions during the fall season and won in three sets every time. Altman Griffin finished each match with the most kills, Savannah Lampley’s 14 digs carried the defensive effort in the first meeting and Owen Bowers and Bri Baysek combined for 11 kills in the second match.

Mackenzie Webb racked up a total of 80 assists in the three meetings.

WHAT WAS SAID

“I told the the girls they worked too hard to let their rivals come in and beat them on Senior Night and mess up their undefeated conference record,” said Wendy Wallace, head softball coach. “They’ve got a lot of pride, so they didn’t want to give up a loss — especially to them.”

WHAT’S NEXT

The basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball programs are all getting new head coaches next season.

Teddy Moseley is looking to “get the ball down the floor constantly and play defense all over the floor” in his debut season with the girls basketball team; Shellie Wimpey is coming over from volleyball to coach the girls cross country team; Chris Larsen is taking over for Bennie Howard as head of the soccer teams; and Ashleigh Larsen was named varsity volleyball coach last week after spending the last few years at the helm of the junior varsity squad.

Daily Journal file photo Richmond’s Chloe Wiggins (12) dribbles as Scotland’s Emma Herr (16) and Willow Hollman (44) close in to defend during a conference match on April 25, 2018. In the teams’ first meeting, Wiggins finished with a goal and two assists to help the Lady Raiders to a 4-0 victory.
https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_wig.jpgDaily Journal file photo Richmond’s Chloe Wiggins (12) dribbles as Scotland’s Emma Herr (16) and Willow Hollman (44) close in to defend during a conference match on April 25, 2018. In the teams’ first meeting, Wiggins finished with a goal and two assists to help the Lady Raiders to a 4-0 victory.

Daily Journal file photo Richmond’s Allexis Swiney, left, looks to set up the offense while being guarded by Scotland’s Mylasia Pratt (10) in the regular-season finale on February 9, 2018. Swiney was one of three players to reach double figures when the Lady Raiders went into Laurinburg and escaped with a nine-point victory.
https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_swiney2.jpgDaily Journal file photo Richmond’s Allexis Swiney, left, looks to set up the offense while being guarded by Scotland’s Mylasia Pratt (10) in the regular-season finale on February 9, 2018. Swiney was one of three players to reach double figures when the Lady Raiders went into Laurinburg and escaped with a nine-point victory.
Richmond girls dominated rival Scotland in head-to-head matchups

By Leon Hargrove Jr.

Sports Editor

STORIES OF THE YEAR, HONORABLE MENTION:

The Daily Journal is reviewing the top sports stories from the 2017-18 school year at Richmond Senor High School. Stories will be published in reverse order.

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.

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.