Richmond Senior coach David Laton and Lumberton coach Mackie Register thought that was the difference in the Raiders’ 63-59 come-from-behind victory Friday night.
Richmond seniors Shydamion Ellerbe, Jordan Richardson and Josh Calhoun combined to score 48 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter.
“Those three stepped up and led the way for us,” Laton said.
The Raiders (16-5, 6-2) trailed 39-25 early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback behind their senior trio.
“They’re a veteran, well-coached team, while we’re an up-and-coming team…I hope,” Register said. “They did their job when they needed to at the end.”
Richardson scored five of his 16 points in a 10-second span in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders the lead for good. Trailing 47-46, Richardson completed an old-fashion three-point and added a layup moments later.
Ellerbe added a layup of his own 22 seconds later to push Richmond’s advantage to 53-47 with 4:25 left in the contest. Ellerbe finished with a game-high 17 points.
“Jordan sprained his ankle earlier in the day in PE class and he had it taped up,” Laton said. “He gutted it out and played hard.”
Calhoun, who scored 15, drained a 3-point field goal from the left wing earlier in the frame to cut Lumberton’s lead to 47-46. Both coaches believed Richmond’s defense made the difference in the second half.
“We really picked it up in the second half,” Laton said. “We needed something after only scoring six points in the second quarter. I told the team to relax and rebound because our defense would get us back into it.”
Register agreed and added his team’s woes at the free-throw line didn’t help the Pirates maintain the lead. “We didn’t handle their pressure well in the second half,” Register said.
“We were ready for their 2-3 zone but they surprised us by coming out in a man-to-man, which I thought benefited us because we tried to push the ball and get some easy baskets before they were set up. Going something like 3-for-14 at the line isn’t going to help.”
Lumberton falls to 7-14 on the season and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Richmond will return to action 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pinecrest.
The Raiders downed the Patriots earlier this season 78-67. Pinecrest improved to 14-6 overall and 5-3 in the SEC with a 55-52 victory Friday over Purnell Swett.
Lady Pirates win
ROCKINGHAM — What a difference three weeks can make.
In the first meeting between Lumberton and Richmond Senior, the teams were tied with four minutes remaining in the contest. The Pirates then closed out the victory by shutting out the Raiders the rest of the way.
Friday’s rematch saw Lumberton open strongly on defense, limiting Richmond to 12 first-half points en route to a 52-41 win at Raider Gymnasium.
“I thought the difference was we got off to a better start tonight,” Lumberton coach Danny Graham said. “We got off to a good start on defense, while they struggled offensively. That got us out to a big lead.”
The Raiders were 0 for 9 from the 3-point line in the first half until Shaquail Wall connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Wall, who scored all seven of the team’s points in the second quarter, finished with a game-high 17.
“We had trouble setting up our offense,” Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate said. “Our defense scored us some points tonight, but we turned it over too much.”
Fairmont pushes streak to 36 games
FAIRMONT — Fairmont's boys basketball team has faced little competition in the Three Rivers Conference this season and the Golden Tornadoes cruised again Friday, disposing of Red Springs, 81-46.
Kwinton Hinson led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points and 16 rebounds as Fairmont (19-3, 8-0) ran off a 12-0 run midway through the second quarter that delivered a decisive blow. The victory was the Golden Tornadoes' 37th consecutive against a conference team.
Guard Jarrod Neal filled up the stat sheet with six points, nine assists and seven steals.
South Robeson girls improve to 6-2 in league play
ROWLAND — Fueled by 52 combined points from Aterria Quick and Savanna Hunt, South Robeson's girls basketball team moved past West Columbus Friday night, 81-34.
With the win, the Lady Mustangs (12-6, 6-2) moved to within one game of conference leader East Columbus with two contest left. South Robeson battles Red Springs Tuesday and a win there sets up a title scenario Friday against the Lady Gators.
Daily Journal sports editor Shawn Stinson contributed to this story.