The Weddig Tournament always showcases fantastic teams every holiday season. 2019 was no different. For the Richmond Red Devils, they knew they had a guaranteed three games. Who those opponents may be would be the question, and how to prepare for them? But, as Coach Baz, and I reiterated on air, this would be a perfect training session for the IHSAA tournament come spring.
The first matchup, announced before the season began, was Seton Catholic. Both teams hadn’t played each other in a couple seasons, but with both schools in Richmond, they were very familiar with each other. The familiarity didn’t work out for the Cardinals, as the Red Devils were just too much of a match for them. Coach Baz pulled the starters out in the 4th quarter, with Richmond up 86-40. But that wasn’t enough for the Red Devils. Sophomore Trenton James was hungry to break the century mark and scored Richmond’s 100th point in the game. A feat which hadn’t been done since February 4th, 2005, when the Red Devils defeated Plainfield 103-63 under coach Chad Bolser. The Red Devils would win round one of the Weddig Tournament 103-61
The 2nd game for the Red Devils would see them face one of the best teams in the state in Zionsville at 1:30 in the afternoon. Zionsville had defeated a tough Cathedral team the night before and was ready to knock the Red Devils aside. Richmond struck first after the tip, and lead most of the first quarter, with the Eagles scoring a 3 to end the first quarter 11-10. Richmond scored immediately after the 2nd quarter started, keeping the lead into the half. 25-22. The 3rd quarter would see Zionsville explode scoring 12 points to Richmond’s 1, as both teams used physical defense to prevent fast scoring attacks. The 3rd quarter ended 34-26 Zionsville in a comfortable lead. In the 4th, Richmond fought back tying the game at 38 with 3 seconds left on the clock. The ball would be smacked out of bounds and awarded to Zionsville. The Eagles would inbound it, shoot, miss, and rebound layup with just 3 tenths of a second on the clock. The final score was 40-38. Zionsville would play in the Championship, and Richmond would play for 3rd or 4th place.
The final game for the Red Devils would be played an hour and half after they played Zionsville, at 4:30pm. They matched up against the Greensburg Pirates, who played just before Richmond Saturday at Noon. Both teams would be battling fatigue as they faced off, yet from a spectator’s standpoint, you could not tell. Both teams gave it their absolute all. 9 ties, 13 lead changes, and 3 overtimes. That’s what it took to decide a champion. Richmond lead the 2nd and 3rd quarter, but started to slip during the 4th, which allowed the Pirates to tie up. The 3 overtimes were a hard-fought affair by both teams, but unfortunately one team had to lose, and it was the Red Devils who came up 2 points short 78-76.
Weddig 2019 had all the storylines and saw Bloomington South crowned Champion. The Red Devils are still “gelling” together, and once the team plays a full 32 minutes of Richmond basketball, they could make quite a bit of noise not only in the NCC, but also in the post season. Richmond is a true sleeper team this year, waiting for an unsuspecting coach to rev their engine at a stop light.