Between the sold-out gymnasium to the contest coming down to the final seconds, Friday’s game between Richmond Senior and Davie County is a prime example of everything that is good about high school basketball.
When Richmond arrived at Davie County nearly 90 minutes before tipoff, assistant coach Tom Baucom wondered aloud if anyone was going to be at the gym to meet them so the team could get it. Richmond coach David Laton laughed and told Baucom, you haven’t experienced Central Piedmont Conference basketball yet.
Laton, a veteran of several trips to Mocksville while at West Forsyth, warned everyone he could tell to get to the game early because he knew it was going to be a packed house. He was right because Davie County officials stopped selling tickets and admitting fans about 20 minutes before the game was set to begin.
Not only was the gym open for the Raiders when they arrived, but they were greeted by a large group of students, which was growing by the minute. By the time the game started, the students were bunched together in two sections and made the atmosphere seem closer to Cameron Indoor Stadium than a high school gymnasium in Mocksville.
Richmond and other schools such as Lumberton have attempted to organize a student section, but Davie County simply blew them all out of the water. And the best part was they were well-behaved — there were no lewd or obnoxious comments from the students all night.
The student section wasn’t the highlight of the night. The War Eagles had NBA-like introductions with the lights going dark and the home team running into a spotlight at halfcourt.
If all of this didn’t get anyone ready to play, then nothing would.
Both teams responded and put together an exciting 32 minutes of basketball. Unfortunately for the Raiders and their fans, the season ended just short of reaching the Elite Eight and a spot in the Greensboro Coliseum against Page in the West Region semifinals.
While no one wanted to write the final chapter to the season, this was about as perfect as one could get.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org