ROCKINGHAM — Testing conflicts have the majority of the schools in the Southeastern Conference playing just two league games so far this season.
However, that is about to change this week as Hoke County will travel to Lumberton tonight, while Scotland will head to Southern Pines to battle Pinecrest on Thursday.
These contests will level the playing field and give all the teams in the SEC three league games. Richmond and Purnell Swett will not return to action until Friday night. The Raiders will play host to the Patriots, while the Rams will travel to Raeford to battle the Bucks.
As it stands right now, Hoke and Pinecrest are the only undefeated boys teams, while Lumberton and Scotland remain unblemished in the girls standings.
The Bucks improved to 2-0 in the SEC and 13-2 overall with their 81-44 thumping of the Fighting Scots Friday night. Juwane Harris led the balanced scoring attack from Hoke with 14 points. Tarique Thompson added 13, Rashad Parker chipped in with 12 and Keyshawn Shaw-Willis had 11. Scotland remains winless in the conference in two games and the season in nine contests.
Pinecrest cruised to a 74-59 victory over Purnell Swett to run its record to 11-3 on the year and 2-0 in league play. The Patriots placed three players in double figures led by Trevion Wooten’s 18 points. Adam Cummings added 15, while Brendan Ortiz had 14. Purnell Swett fell to 1-2 in the league and 3-11 overall.
Shydamion Ellerbe scored 21 points as Richmond kept pace with Hoke and Pinecrest with a 71-58 road win at Lumberton. The Raiders remain one-half game behind the Bucks and the Patriots in the SEC standings with a 2-1 mark. On the season, Richmond is 12-4. In the defeat, the Pirates slip to 5-10 and 0-2.
On the girls side, Keanna McNeill scored seven of her 13 points in the final four minutes as Lumberton downed Richmond 58-43. The Pirates are now 2-0 in the SEC and 12-3 overall. Maya McCoy scored 12, while Asaya Graham and Raven Ingram added 11 and 10, respectively in the victory.
The Raiders had their modest two-game winning streak broken to fall to 2-1 in the SEC and 4-10 overall.
Scotland remained unbeaten in the conference as it cruised to an 86-34 win over Hoke Friday night. Only two players were in double figures for the Fighting Scots, but they combined to score 58 points. Quintavia Deberry scored 30 points, while Ariel Ratcliff had 28 for Scotland, which is now 10-2 on the season and 2-0 in the conference.
The Bucks are one of two winless teams in the conference along with Purnell Swett. Hoke is now 3-13 overall and 0-2 in the SEC.
Pinecrest picked up its first SEC win of the season with a 42-9 victory over Purnell Swett. The Patriots upped their record to 8-6 and 1-1 in the conference as Felicia Painter dropped in 21 points. Janea Williams added eight in the win. The Rams fall to 0-3 in league play and 1-12 on 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.