By Shawn Stinson
December 6, 2013
ROCKINGHAM — All of the momentum appeared to be with Richmond Senior heading into overtime.
The Raiders had just rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 2:06 of the fourth quarter and tied the game as time expired on a steal and layup by Shaquail Wall.
But the momentum shifted back to the visitors in the extra period as Union Pines pulled out a 63-54 victory Friday night at Raider Gymnasium.
“I told them to keep up the pressure,” Union Pines coach John Lewkowicz said. “I said whoever is going to win is the one that gets on top first. We were able to get a couple of quick baskets.”
Maresa Smith, who scored a team-high 17 points, got things going for the Vikings (4-1) in overtime by converting an old-fashion 3-point play. Moments later, Lexie Coxe drained a 3-point field goal to stretch the advantage to six at 59-53.
Lewkowicz was pleased to see Coxe hit a big basket down the stretch because she threw the pass away at the end of regulation which allowed Wall to force overtime.
“She played her heart out,” Lewkowicz said. “I told her the worst thing is we go into overtime. It’s four minutes, it’s a four-minute game. I’m really happy for her.”
The Raiders were held scoreless in overtime until Sarah Maske hit 1 of 2 free throws at the 1:44 mark. It was the only point for Richmond (1-1) in the frame.
“When you have back-to-back-to-back turnovers it’s hard to overcome,” Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate said. “They were getting layups and it wears you out. We still have some inexperience playing close games. It’s a learning experience.”
Wall scored a game-high 20 points in the loss, but was limited to six in the second half and overtime. Lewkowicz said he had to make a change to contain the senior.
“She put on a show,” Lewkowicz said. “We basically made her move out and not get comfortable. In the first half she got in the lane and hit the turnaround. We were giving too much. She’s definitely a good shooter.”
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Tuesday when it travels to Cheraw (S.C.) for its first road game of the season.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.