LUMBERTON — Despite leading Richmond Senior in scoring during the first half against Lumberton, Shydamion Ellerbe was forced to wheel the team’s cooler of drinks into the locker room at halftime.
Add making sure his teammates are hydrated to the senior’s duties for the Raiders.
“He’s a full-service player,” Richmond coach David Laton laughingly said.
Ellerbe’s final basket — a dunk — served as an exclamation point to a 21-point, 10-rebound effort which led Richmond to a 71-58 Southeastern Conference victory over rival Lumberton Friday night at Pirate Gym.
The Raiders improve to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, while the Pirates tumble to 5-10 and 0-2.
Richmond closed out the final 4:32 of the first half on a 14-2 run to extend its lead to 44-28 at the break. Six players scored during this stretch, a feat which pleased their coach.
“The second quarter was big for us,” Laton said. “We grabbed some big offensive rebounds against their zone. I thought we did a good job of passing the ball against it as well. We had pretty balanced scoring tonight because eight players scored.”
Lumberton coach Mackie Register thought the Raiders did a good job of taking advantage of his team’s miscues in the second period.
“We got down early and we fought to come back, then we relaxed for a moment and they put the pedal to the metal,” Register said. “That led to a lot of easy baskets for them.”
While Ellerbe was able to put up points in the paint, Lumberton struggled to get leading scorers Montrae Strother and Demetri Sheridan going in the game. The pair, which averaged 29 points coming in, managed just 10 in the loss.
The scoring gap was closed by Darius Floyd. The junior guard scored a game-high 22 points and drained six 3-point field goals for the Pirates.
“We have been waiting on that all year,” Register said. “That could be the silver lining in this, getting him confidence to be the third scorer we have been looking for all year.”
Laton added he was willing to give up the long-range jumpers to the Pirates, as long as his team won the other battles in the stat sheet.
“We outscored them at the free-throw line and in 2s,” Laton said. “They obviously outscored us from the 3. I tell my team to not fall in love with 3.”
Richmond will return to action 7:30 p.m. Friday when SEC rival Pinecrest visits Raider Gym.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.