ROCKINGHAM — As Issac Bell’s last-second shot sailed high over the net, Chris McDonald pumped his fist, raised his arms in the air and started looking for a teammate to share in a high-five.
McDonald found a willing participant in Nic Ussery and the pair celebrated Richmond’s 2-0 Southeastern Conference victory over Lumberton Wednesday night at Raider Stadium.
“It was Senior Night and our last home conference match,” said McDonald after recording the team’s third shutout of the season. “It means a lot too because it gives us a chance to finish third in the conference.”
The victory improves Richmond to 10-3-2 overall and 4-3-1 in league play. Lumberton falls to 10-8 and 5-3. The Raiders are still in fourth place in the SEC and would need to defeat Pinecrest and Scotland next week as well as having Hoke County and Lumberton stumble to move up in the standings. The Pirates are currently second behind Pinecrest, while the Bucks are third.
“We played well tonight,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “This will hopefully give us some confidence down the road. If we play like this against Pinecrest, I’m not saying we will win, but we should make it respectable.”
Against Lumberton, Richmond got on the scoreboard early as Josh Swails scored on a penalty kick. Later in the first half, Sergio Zapata chipped a shot over the Pirates’ goalkeeper to give the Raiders a two-goal cushion at halftime.
“We really dug ourselves a hole with the PK,” Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons said. “A PK is a PK, the call could have gone either way. When they scored, it set the tone for the game.
“I thought they defended well all night. I don’t think we played bad, we just didn’t do a good job in the final third of the field to score any goals. And that’s the way to win games — scoring goals.”
Richmond will return to action 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pinecrest, while Lumberton will square off with Scotland.
In the junior varsity contest, Lumberton blanked Richmond 4-0. The Raiders will return to action 5:30 p.m. at Pinecrest.
Covington, Crowder selected to Shrine Bowl
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Richmond Senior defensive end Devant’e Covington and offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder were named to this year’s North Carolina Shrine Bowl team it was announced Thursday afternoon.
A school is allowed only two representatives to the squad. Richmond’s Alex Norton and Robert Williams were also in contention to make the roster as well.
This year’s Shrine Bowl contest will be played 1 p.m. Dec. 15 at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College in Spartanburg. The North Carolina team will be coached by Nelson Smith from Garner.
Carpenter, Denham finish 4th
PINEHURST — The Richmond Senior doubles team of Abbi Carpenter and Haleigh Denham lost both of their matches Wednesday afternoon to take fourth place in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Pinecrest’s Piper Davis and Brittany Jenkins defeated the duo 6-1, 7-5 to advance to the finals. In the third place contest, Pinecrest’s Josie Lee and Kaitlyn Newman downed Carpenter and Denham 6-1, 6-2.
The Richmond pair will advance to next week’s 4A East Regional tournament in Fayetteville hosted by Terry Sanford. Pairings will be set at a coaches meeting an hour before the first match.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.