“This was a great high school basketball game,” Richmond head coach David Laton said. “Both teams were undefeated coming in.”
Laton did not inform his team of that fact before the game. Still, his squad had more than enough in its tank to withstand several furious late rallies by the Colts.
The Raiders led by as many as 10 points in the first half before settling for a 28-20 advantage at halftime.
But Cape Fear began to chip away, taking advantage of several Raider turnovers to close to within one at 33-32.
Richmond put together a 7-2 spurt to get back out to a 40-34 lead, but Cape Fear quickly cut the Raider lead back to two at 40-38 with about four minutes left in the period.
From there, Raider senior center Will Freeman took over the game, using his inside muscle to score eight points as Richmond outscored Cape Fear 10-0 over the remainder of the quarter.
But again, Cape Fear had a rally in mind. The Colts were able to whittle away at the Raiders’ lead and get it down to six points at 56-50 with about two minutes left in the game.
Richmond, however, made 6-of-8 critical free throws in the final minutes, including a crucial intentional foul call, which gave the Raiders two free throws and possession of the ball.
Shydamian Ellerbe sank both charity tosses and Freeman was fouled on the ensuing possession, draining both of his free throws as well.
Freeman again led the Raiders in scoring with 17 points, and again tallied a double-double with 12 rebounds. Tyquan Breeden had 13 points and Ty Little added 12.
Richmond is idle until next Wednesday when the Raiders will host Lee County in a no conference contest scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or by email at email@example.com.