Wednesday, 01 December 2021 19:20

McInnis and-one, McDonald steal lift JV Raiders to first win

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Sophomore Toby McInnis (35) celebrates with David McNair (3) and Jada Zimmerman (14) after tying the game in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Toby McInnis (35) celebrates with David McNair (3) and Jada Zimmerman (14) after tying the game in the fourth quarter. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ASHEBORO — Overcoming a deficit to start the fourth quarter, the Richmond Senior High School junior varsity boys’ basketball team entered the win column on Tuesday.

The JV Raiders erased a five-point hole to earn a 40-37 win over non-conference Uwharrie Charter Academy on the road.

A back-and-forth affair, the JV Raiders held small leads at the end of the first (7-6) and second quarters (18-16). 

After a slow third quarter put the team behind 31-26, Richmond outscored Uwharrie Charter 14-6 in the final eight minutes for its first win of the season. 

Sophomore Toby McInnis, who scored all of his 7 points in the second half, was responsible for tying the game and scoring the eventual game-winning point in the final minute.

Grabbing an offensive rebound, McInnis scored on a putback with 45.8 seconds left in regulation. Fouled on the basket, McInnins added the and-one opportunity to put Richmond ahead 38-37.

In the closing moments, freshman Ahaiver McDonald collected a steal on defense and drove the length of the court for a layup with 12.8 seconds remaining. It was the final of his 7 points in the win.

“We were just trying to get our first win and do whatever it took at that moment,” head coach Kenta Hutchinson said. “I called a timeout and told the guys we needed a stop and a bucket. It was perfect timing for Toby to get the basket and the and-one to put us ahead.

“The steal and basket by Ahaiver was the play of the game,” he added. “It was a big play for us and it helped secure the win.”

Freshman Ahaiver McDonald (15) prepares to lay in an insurance basket in the fourth quarter. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Sophomore David McNair, who finished with 8 points, started with a triple and a free throw in the first quarter. Freshman Raymond Knotts, who led the team in points for the second game in a row with 12 points, added a bucket and a foul shot in the opening stanza.

Knotts knocked down a triple and a field goal in the second quarter, and Richmond maintained a two-point halftime lead with the help of McDonald and sophomore Jada Zimmerman.

McDonald scored 4 points on two field goals, and Zimmerman added the first two of his 6 points in the game.

McNair mirrored his efforts in the third with another three-pointer and free throw, and Knotts and McInnis added two points each.

McInnis scored five points in the fourth, Zimmerman chipped in four points, McDonald added three points and Knotts capped the scoring with a field goal.

Freshman Raymond Knotts (2) led the JV Raiders with 12 points in Tuesday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

“We are freshmen heavy this year and that’s a little different for us,” Hutchinson explained. “The transition has all been about adjusting to the speed of the game and trying to do all of the little things right.

“Defensively, we’ve been able to play well against two really good teams,” he continued. “We’ve been battle tested right off the start and this will help us the rest of the season.”

Richmond (1-1) will play another road game on Friday at non-conference Pine Forest High School. Tip off is set for around 6 p.m. following the JV girls’ game.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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