ST. PAULS — It was the perfect opening game for Richmond Senior in the annual Robeson County Shootout.
One day after Richmond coach David Laton warned his team about getting off to a slow start, the Raiders did the exact opposite.
Richmond stormed out to a 16-point first quarter lead and went on to rout St. Pauls 83-44 Wednesday night. The Raiders have now reeled off five straight victories after a season-opening loss to Cheraw.
“I feel like we did a good job tonight,” Laton said. “I thought Xavier (Davis) did a good job at point and I thought (Sidney) Neely played big for us the whole game. The key to us getting off to a strong start was Xavier and his ability to run the break.”
Neely scored all 15 of his points in the first half and pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Davis finished with five points and dished out a handful of assists. Octavius Patterson came off the bench for Richmond (5-1) to score a game-high 17 points. Tre Pettigrew added 11, all in the first eight minutes.
“We were just overmatched,” St. Pauls coach Travis Lemansky said. “I thought maybe their guards would be their weak spot, but they could shot. I think they hit something like eight 3s against us. They have a good combination of inside-outside.”
Richmond’s defense limited St. Pauls leading scorer Malik Livingstone to five points and no Bulldog scored in double figures. Trenton Jacobs netted a team-leading seven points in the loss.
“He’s still coming back from a football injury,” Lemansky said about his star. “He sat out a couple of games and he is just playing through some pain. Hopefully he will heal up after Christmas Break.”
Richmond will travel to Fairmont 7:30 Friday in a Robeson County Shootout semifinal matchup. Fairmont advanced following a victory over Red Springs. In other Shootout contests, Lumberton stopped South Robeson 80-32 and Dillion (S.C.) downed Purnell Swett 97-89 in double overtime.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.