The team won its third straight, and inched over .500 for the first time this season after prevailing 49-36 over Purnell Swett at Rohanen Middle School Monday.
“In the loss to Pinecrest last week, we played really sluggish in the first half, but we have played with more intensity since then,” Green team coach Jay Jones. “Even in our last game against Hoke when we fell behind, I felt like the intensity was there and once we got something going we were OK.”
Richmond (7-6) won the previous meeting with the Rams 43-26 on Dec. 15. Jesse Simpson, who had a game-high 19 points, had two points in the prior meeting. According to Jones, Richmond controlled the earlier encounter throughout and didn’t call on Simpson much in the second half.
However, this time the Rams were able to keep it close, but Simpson made big shots to kill their rallies.
Trailing 26-15 midway in the third quarter, Swett connected on back-to-back 3-pointers trim the lead to 26-21. However, Simpson answered with two 3-pointers of his own to stretch the Richmond lead back out.
The Rams attempted to mount one final charge, trimmed an 11-point deficit to seven with a little over five minutes remaining in the game. Once again, Simpson ended the threat by connecting on his fourth 3-pointer of the game to push the lead back to double digits.
Simpson had 20 points in the Green team’s 53-52 overtime win over Hoke last Thursday.
“Jesse has been extremely dialed in shooting the ball over the last couple games,” Jones said. “We’ve gotten a lot of contributions from a lot of our guys, but he has emerged as a leader.”
JR Richardson added 14 points, most coming from the inside. The Green team’s defense forced Purnell Swett into 27 turnovers.
“Defensively, we got after it pretty well, and we’ve been doing that during our winning streak,” Jones said. “Our press really worked well. They struggled handling the ball. We were able to create our offense from our defense with steals, which allowed us to score some in transition.”
The Green team plays at Lumberton on Wednesday.
In the girls contest, the Richmond Ninth Grade Green team girls basketball team has not allowed opponents to get out to quick starts in its last three games.
The opposition has only managed to score five points in the opening period in the last three wins. Purnell Swett
only scored two points in the first quarter as the Green team rolled to a
58-20 victory and improved to 8-3 on the season.
Richmond led 17-2 going into the second quarter as Tiara Ellerbe scored 11 of her game-high 25 points in the opening period.
“Tiara is a great athlete who has good ball-handling skills,” Green team
coach Milton Swinnie said. “If she works hard and has a great attitude, she has the capabilities of being a great player.
It depends on how good she wants
Keyna Harris scored 12 points in the win, including eight in the first half to help the Green run out to a 35-4 halftime advantage.
Swinnie applauded Purnell Swett’s efforts in the contest, especially in the second half.
“We shot the ball well, and we also created a lot of points off our turnovers,” Swinnie said. “My hats off to the Swett, which was playing with six girls, but they didn’t quit. They showed great class for their effort.”
The Green team play at Lumberton on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Contact sports reporter Corey Davis at 997-3111, ext. 44; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org