Friday, 17 January 2020 23:24

Lady Raiders earn crucial SAC win at Scotland; Love nets 19 points

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Keionna Love (14) drives past Asjah Swindell (33) for two points in the second half of Richmond's win over Scotland. Keionna Love (14) drives past Asjah Swindell (33) for two points in the second half of Richmond's win over Scotland. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LAURINBURG — Taking things one game at a time, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ basketball team notched another pivotal conference win Friday.

Traveling to Scotland High School for the latest installment of the rivalry, the Lady Raiders used double-digit scoring performances from Keionna Love and Jakerra Covington to earn a 51-43 win.

It was the team’s sixth win in the last eight meanings between the two Sandhills Athletic Conference teams, although head coach Teddy Moseley wasn’t there to celebrate due to being out of town for personal reasons. 

Assistant coaches Taneika Reader and Marissa Toney took over the bench in his absence.

Love would lead Richmond with 19 points, the second-highest tally in the game to Scotland’s Asjah Swindell, who netted 20 points for the home team. Eight of Love’s points came in a crucial fourth quarter, and was the second time in three games she tallied 19 points.

Covington added 12 points in the win, using her physicality down low to score six field goals through the first three quarters. 

“After Tuesday’s game (against Seventy-First), we asked our girls to respond,” Toney said. “And they did tonight, from the first man to the last man.”

Both teams would use runs to sway the game’s momentum from one bench to the other. Richmond was more consistent with its scoring throughout the four quarters, while Scotland used a 24-20 spurt in the third and fourth quarters to cut the game to just two points, 43-41.

“Basketball is a game of runs, and it’s about how you extend those runs,” Reader commented. “Our defensive effort was great from boxing out to providing help. It was a whole team effort.

“Even when Scotland went on a run in the third quarter, we told the girls not to lose focus,” she added. “We lost it a little bit, but they put their heads back in it and that’s how we won the game.”

Covington and Love both recorded four points in the opening quarter and helped the Lady Raiders out to an 8-4 lead. But following a Scotland timeout, the Lady Scots closed the final four minutes on a 6-0 run to take a 10-8 lead into the second.

The Lady Raiders took control of the floor in the second stanza, outscoring Scotland 15-7. Covington started with a basket under the hoop, and followed with a mid-range jumper to tie the game.

Junior Jayla McDougald scored her first two points of the game on a spin move through the paint, and joining the mix were Jardai Tillman and Bree Wall, both of whom netted two points on putbacks off rebounds.

Wall’s shot made it 18-14 in favor of Richmond, and Love closed the quarter with five more points. She hit a pair of drives and a free throw to give the Lady Raiders a 23-17 halftime lead.

Miste Clark scored three points for Scotland, while Alyra Parker and Swindell chipped in a field goal.

Richmond’s next run came at the start of the third, using an 8-2 burst to open the game up. Tillman hit the glass on a nice dish from Love, as McDougald went coast-to-coast for a layup. A Covington jumper and a Wall putback gave the Lady Raiders a 12-point advantage with 6:10 to go in the frame.

Another Scotland timeout proved effective, as the Lady Scots went on an 11-5 run to close the quarter. Swindell had nine points in the third, while teammate Kadence Sheppard scored the first four of her 10 points.

Entering the fourth, Richmond’s lead was cut to five points, 35-30.

But it was a 16-point scoring effort in the final eight minutes that gave Richmond the win. Love hit three field goals and two free throws, as McDougald and Davionna Campbell each hit two baskets in transition.

Sheppard tried to bring Scotland (5-7, 2-3 SAC) back with her final six points, but the Lady Raider defense quieted Swindell’s scoring efforts to just four points. Inside the closing minute, and down just four points, Swindell missed three putback opportunities.

Campbell and McDougald combined to make a 6-0 run in the final 1:10 to ice the SAC win.

McDougald finished with eight points, followed by four points each from Campbell, Tillman and Wall.

“I’m so proud of all the girls,” Toney said. “Keionna stepped up and made a lot of great plays. Jakerra continued to go hard at the basket, and I’m proud of her for that.”

“She’s so fast out of the back,” Reader added of Covington. “She got so many steals and had some nice layups. Keionna’s top job is to score for us and she does a great job of that.”

Richmond (11-5, 3-4 SAC) will take a break from conference play and compete in a MLK, Jr. tournament at Terry Sanford High School. The Lady Raiders will play Village Christian Academy (8-7) on Monday at 1 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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