LAURINBURG — It was act one of a play which will be concluded in five days.
Richmond Senior and its arch-rival Scotland battled to a 1-all tie in the regular-season finale for both schools Wednesday night. The Raiders are now 10-4-3 on the season and finish with a 4-4-2 mark in the Southeastern Conference, while the Fighting Scots are 3-13-1 and 2-7-1.
Trailing 1-0, Richmond’s Armando Garcia found the back of the net in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to knot the contest. Neither team was able to score in the final 30 minutes of regulation or the two 10-minute overtime periods.
“We had some good opportunities to score, but we hit their keeper in the gut with ball,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “My hats off to Scotland for playing tough on Senior Night.”
Howard added the Fighting Scots scored their lone tally off a rebound on a corner kick.
“Chris (McDonald) punched the ball out, but it went off the back of one of their player’s heads and into the goal,” Howard said.
Despite finishing with the No. 4 seed in the league, one spot ahead of Scotland, Richmond will return to the pitch 7 p.m. Monday in Laurinburg to face the Fighting Scots in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
“I guess they decided to listen to us coaches and have it at one site,” Howard said.
Hoke County and Purnell Swett will kick things off at 5 p.m. Monday. The Bucks, the third seed, are 12-6-1 and 5-3-1, pending the results of their contest with SEC regular season champion Pinecrest. The Rams completed their regular season without a victory in 15 contests and were 0-10 in the conference.
The winner of the early contest will battle Lumberton in the semifinals, while the victor of the nightcap will take on Pinecrest.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.