Lady Raiders rally for win
December 17, 2009By Kenton Brown of Richmond Senior High School
The Lady Raiders trailed, 21-13 after a sluggish first half. Richmond was playing its second game in two nights, after defeating Douglas Byrd at home Monday night.
Richmond made interim coach Nellie Harrington sweat a bit in the second half. But the Lady Raiders rallied to keep their perfect 2009-10 record intact at 4-0. Richmond prevailed, 44-42.
It was a struggle all evening long for the Lady Raiders, who just couldn't seem to buy a basket in the first half.
Leading scorer LaShay Brown, in fact, was held to just five points in the opening 16 minutes.
But Harrington counseled her team to be patient and stick with the game plan, and that advice began to pay off in the second half, as the Lady Raiders were able to slowly chip away at the Union Pines lead.
With under a minute to go, I'teionna McLaughlin's steal and layup gave the Lady Raiders their first lead of the night at 41-40.
It was a short-lived advantage, as the Vikings regained the lead on their next possession at 42-41. Less than 30 seconds remained.
After another Union Pines turnover, it was reserve point guard Shaquitta Covington taking control, slicing through the Union Pines defense and going in for a layup to put her team up for good, 43-42.
With that razor-thin advantage, a defensive stop - or two - were needed. And Richmond was up to the task, getting a steal to set up Brown to be fouled.
She converted one of two charity tosses to give Richmond its winning advantage.
"Our shots just wouldn't fall early," Harrington said. "We were getting good looks. We just had to be patient."
Harrington also had some praise for the bench work of assistant coach Toni Brown. "She's a big help and a big part of what we do," Harrington said.
The Lady Raiders' aggressive defense, including their half-court trap, helped create some offensive opportunities.
Brown finished with 18 points - 13 of those after intermission. Covington had nine points off the bench and McLaughlin added six.
The Lady Raiders return to action on Monday when they host Anson.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or via email at email@example.com.