Wednesday, the Red Devils headed to southern Madison County to face off with the Pendleton Heights Arabians. The Red Devils would have to alter their strategy, because earlier in the day, Jordan Stole left school sick and wouldn’t play. When Richmond arrived to Pendleton, they realized their entire game strategy had to adjust because Arabian center Tristian Ross was ill as well.
Richmond would win the tip, but miss their first shot, resulting in Pendleton Heights putting points on the board first. Richmond would then find their groove and start laying on the scores. At one point the Red Devils were up by 11 before the Arabians started to claw back. There were several fouls, including one technical called on Tytan Newton for clapping, which put the Arabians back in the game. Then it got interesting.
The 4th quarter started out tied at 50-50. Richmond and Pendleton traded shots, before Pendleton grabbed the lead. Richmond scored a bucket and regained the lead, and then Pendleton did the exact same thing. With just seconds left on the clock, and Pendleton Heights up by two, Tytan Newton had the ball for the Red Devils, drove the paint and was fouled. He went to the free throw line and sunk both shots, which forced overtime.
In overtime, the Red Devils overpowered the Arabians, and won 77-71. This victory was huge for the Red Devils. It was the 3rd game in 5 days, just like in sectionals. It was a victory over a potential sectional opponent. The team was without a starter, forcing Ty Harris to step up as a starter, and Dorian Hill to step up to Varsity.
This team, if they continue to play Red Devil basketball, could make some noise come March. But first, they have to endure the 9 day break, and then hosting one of the tougher teams in the conference, Harrison. As both Coach Baz and Coach Bennett say “One Game at a Time”.
Final score 77-71 in OT
Saturday, the only Ohio opponent on the schedule, the Northmont Thunderbolts came to Tiernan to face off with the Red Devils. Last year’s contest, in the Thunderdome, resulted in a Richmond victory in overtime, and Northmont wanted to end Richmond’s 2 game win streak.
That didn’t happen. Richmond won the tip scored first, and put the hammer down. Here are the total points scored in each quarter: 1st 20-7, 2nd 20-13, 3rd 14-10, 4th 25-14. Richmond outscored Northmont every quarter in the game. Scoring, for the most part was even for the Red Devils throughout the game.
With 2 minutes left in the game, Coach Baz subbed in the entire JV squad, and they secured the victory for the Red Devils. This victory was huge. It extended the win streak to 3, which is the longest win streak of the season so far. It also brought the season above .500 in the Wins/Losses column.
Final Score 79-44.
Friday the Muncie Central Bearcats came to Tiernan to face off with the Red Devils. This game was big for several reasons. A) It was a North Central Conference matchup. B) It was a potential sectional match up. C) Winning this game would bring the Red Devils back to .500. The Bearcats had won in Muncie last year at Muncie Southside (played there due to the fact that the North Walnut Street Fieldhouse was still undergoing repairs from tornado damage the year before) and the Red Devils knew, to get any traction on the season, they had to win at home this evening.
Muncie Central would strike first with a three ball. What was dangerous, is that Muncie nailed quite a few threes. In fact, Richmond’s zone prevented Muncie from driving the paint, so they relied on the 3 shot, and kept making them. One man who hadn’t averaged more than 4 points a game was Demar Woods-Haskins. He lit up the board Friday.
The trying task for the Red Devils, was that everytime they had a statement for the Bearcats, Muncie Central returned a shot. In fact, the Devils tied up the game 9 separate times, and they didn’t take the lead in the game until very late in the 4th quarter. The Bearcats got close to tying it up, but Tytan Newton hit a layup with just a few seconds left on the clock to seal the victory for the Red Devils
Final score 56-53
Saturday, the Red Devils would make the first of two-long road-trips to Lafayette this season, to face off with the McCutcheon Mavericks. On paper both teams matched up, but Richmond had an ace up their sleeve: determination. Determination not to lose, to fall further down in the conference standings, and to prove to themselves that they can win close games.
Now, Rafael Deane was still out for this game, it did see the return of Ty Harris, and starter Tytan Newton. Newton, was the spark that the Red Devils needed, and his presence was felt on the court. Richmond struck first with a 3 ball. Then McCutcheon tied with a 3 of their own. The first quarter would be a low scoring affair, ending 7-5 with McCutcheon in the lead.
In fact, the entire game would be low scoring. The drama was in the defense. There would be 2 ties, and 7 lead changes in this game, before Richmond started to pull away midway in the 3rd quarter. No one fouled out, but it wasn’t until the 4th that any teams had any significant time at the charity stripe. The Red Devils would come away with the victory.
Final score 49-41
Friday night the New Castle Trojans came to Tiernan to face off with the Red Devils. The Trojans had beaten the Red Devils last year at Tiernan, and Richmond was determined not to let that happen again. Unfortunately, history would repeat itself.
One of the main reasons Richmond played “off” was because of the injury and flu bug. Starter Tytan Newton was out due to an illness, and Ty Harris, and Rafael Deane were out due to minor injuries. It was just three guys, but three very important guys. Tytan Newton is a starter, and the spark to the team. Deane and Harris are the “6th man” off the bench. With those three out, Coach Baz had to improvise. The first step was to select a starter, and that man was Messiah Tyler. Tyler held his own on the court, but it had been a while since he had seen Varsity game time. Also Trenton James, Dorian Hill, and Levon Jordan would interchange as subs, those three having played directly before in the JV game.
Richmond would strike first, and would keep the lead until just before the end of the first quarter. New Castle would score to wrap up the first quarter, and would keep the lead for the rest of the game. Richmond would trail New Castle, at one point by 17 points in the 4th quarter, and would end the game with a 14 point loss.
Final score, 54-40
Saturday was the 2nd trip up to Marion and Bill Green Arena for the Red Devils, but this time it was to play in the Marion Classic, a yearly invite for schools to play other teams outside of their normal schedule on a neutral court. A good preparation for the post season. Richmond had participated in the Marion Classic last year, but this year the match up was a bit more…personal, at least for Coach Shabaz Khaliq. The Red Devils would face off with Fort Wayne North, his former team of 8 years.
The Red Devils would attack fast off the tip and they turned on the jets never to look back. At the end of the 1st quarter, Richmond would lead by 19, 29-10. The kept up the heat in the 2nd quarter as well, finishing up the half 52-25. After intermission, The Legends tried everything to trip up the Red Devils, but to no success. In fact, with about a minute left in the game, and Richmond up 85-60, Coach Baz sat all the starters and sent out several JV players to give them some Varsity experience.
This was another game that was a morale and confidence boost. It also proved to the team, they could go into a neutral gym, and take on an opponent, in the afternoon, that they would normally not face in the regular season. Regionals anyone? The victory brought the Red Devils up to a .454 winning percentage on the season so far and gave the team a much-needed reward for all of the close games the team had lost. Richmond is just now hitting the mid-point of the season and now the pieces are starting to fall into the right places.
Final score 85-65
The Dragons of New Pal invaded the Tiernan Center Friday Night. A game that was rescheduled due to the Dragon Football Team’s State Championship, saw a bit of drama in the 1st half. Richmond scored first off the tip, like thy normally do, but it was New Pal’s Maximus Gizzi who nailed a 3 for New Pal. New Pal would lead into the 2nd quarter, but Richmond nailed a 3 to take the lead, and would never let it go.
The Red Devils at one point in the 4th lead by 13 points, but New Pal was able to claw their way back to make a close game, trailing by just 1 point with less than 2 minutes to go. Richmond changed strategies and would force New Pal to foul, which would send them to the line. The points from the charity strip ensured Richmond’s victory, bringing the Red Devils to 4-6 on the season.
One of the things Coach Baz and I talked about, and we could see on the floor, was Richmond’s focus on closing out games, and working on that in practice. The victory was a huge boost for the team’s morale. They put another W in the column, but also won against a potential Sectional opponent. The win would also boost their confidence for the long trip to Marion on Saturday.
Final Score, 60-55