ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior girls basketball coach Victoria DeFrate knows it will be a long process to get her team where she wants it to be by the end of the season.
Until then, DeFrate is content watching her Raiders make small improvements which she believes will lead to bigger ones down the road.
After going 0-3 over the weekend at T.W. Andrews, Richmond rebounded to squeak out a 40-37 exhibition victory over Fairmont Tuesday night at Raider Gymnasium.
“I was pleased. I saw a lot of positives tonight,” DeFrate said. “I liked our defense. We got some shots to fall. I thought we saw the floor well. We’re getting there.”
The teams were knotted at 23 at the end of the third quarter before Richmond pressure Fairmont into a handful of turnovers to open the final period. The Raiders took advantage of the miscues and used their height advantage to pull away.
“I am impressed with our inside players. This is where most of our experience is,” DeFrate said of post players Jade Evans and Kayla Ewing. “We need to work on getting the ball inside to them and not forcing it.”
The contest with Fairmont was the last scrimmage for Richmond before opening the regular season at South Robeson on Nov. 27.
DeFrate has mixed emotions about not being able to take to the court again before facing the Mustangs. She likes having the time to work with her players and get them prepared for the long season, but DeFrate also wants to test her team against another opponent before tipping it off in the regular season.
“Everything will come with time,” the first-year coach said. “We have only been playing together for about a week and a half now.”
After facing off with South Robeson in the season opener, Richmond will begin its home schedule 6 p.m. Nov. 30 against Douglas Byrd.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.