ROCKINGHAM — The big showdown between the Richmond Senior and Pinecrest boys basketball teams will have to be put on hold.
At least until Monday.
The game scheduled for tonight at Raider Gym between the Patriots and Raiders was postponed Thursday afternoon because of the threat of winter weather hitting the area. It also forced the remainder of the SEC slate, Purnell Swett at Hoke and Lumberton at Scotland, to be postponed as well. No makeup dates have been set for those contests at this time.
“Around 3 or so, Ernie (Purnsley) texts me and tells me the Moore County superintendent made the call to cancel all evening activities on Friday,” Richmond athletic director Kevin Mabe said. “We couldn’t get together to reschedule it for Saturday. The forecast says snow and rather than risk anyone getting hurt driving to the game, it was the right call to make.”
The postponement means the Raiders will play just four games in 25 days. Richmond coach David Laton doesn’t believe the long layoff between contests will affect his squad.
“I really don’t have any concerns about that because you can always knock rust off,” Laton said. “All this time gave us a great opportunity to tweak and add some things on offense and defense.”
The three-day delay will only build the anticipation of the contest between the two schools.
Pinecrest fell from the ranks of the unbeaten in SEC play Thursday night with a home-court loss to Scotland. The Patriots are 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
Richmond is looking to remain at least one game behind Hoke in the race for the conference regular season title. The team’s lone loss in league play came in an 80-72 to the Bucks on Jan. 11. The Raiders are 12-4 on the season and are tied with the Patriots for second in the conference with a 2-1 mark.
“I will never say one game is make or break, but I would call it a separation game,” Laton said. “Two losses in the conference and with a team that has none certainly makes it harder to win the conference.”
Pinecrest, which Laton called “the surprise team in the conference,” is led by senior Adam Cummings. Last season, Cummings drained a go-ahead 3-point field goal from the top of the key and added two more free throws in the final moments as the Patriots pulled out a 53-46 victory in the team’s first matchup. The Raiders earned a 66-53 win in the rematch before stopping the Patriots 75-62 in the first-round of the SEC tournament.
“They have one of the best players in the conference in Cummings,” Laton said. “He’s a good shooter and he’s one of the reasons why they are playing so well.”
— 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.