ROCKINGHAM — It has to start feeling like the movie “Groundhog Day” for Richmond Senior.
Every game seems the same — get off to a slow start, make a comeback and pull away for the win. The only time this scenario was broken was Tuesday night by Marlboro County (S.C.)
Against Cheraw, it was back to the old routine for the Raiders.
Richmond once again started off cold to begin the game, trailed by eight at one point in the first quarter before storming back in the second en route to posting a 58-45 victory Wednesday night at Raider Gymnasium.
The Raiders (5-1) limited the Braves to two points in the second period after switching to a 2-3 zone. Richmond coach David Laton made the move after a handful of his players suggested mixing it up on defense.
“I thought why not with our size, our ability to take charges and to block shots,” Laton said. “Our last four games, we have given up something like 20 2-point baskets, I wanted to stop that. We may give up some more 3s, but I think we will do a better job covering the interior and rebounding.”
Richmond limited the visitors to 11 2-point field goals in the contest.
Forward Trey Pettigrew liked the move because it would allow the team the opportunity to do more on the offensive end.
“I didn’t get as tired as I normally would,” said Pettigrew, who scored 10 points against the Braves.
One of the players who also benefited from the change was Shydamion Ellerbe. After being held to five points by Marlboro County the night before, the senior scored a game-high 15. Jordan Richardson added 14 points.
Pettigrew added having Ellerbe and Richardson anchoring the middle and drawing most of the defensive attention should help the perimeter players find open shots.
“Nobody wants to be in the way when Jordan is driving down the lane,” Pettigrew said. “Plus if they are double-teamed, they will be able to dish it out.”
Richmond will return to the hardwood 7:30 p.m. Saturday when it travels to face Union Pines.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.