Swing after break decides clash of region unbeatens
Musketeers pull away
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Saturday, December 19, 2009

Richmond Academy precedes every boys basketball game just like your average team.

Its 12 players split into two lines and warm up by taking turns drifting toward the basket for unguarded layups. Points don't come any easier.

That's also kind of how the third quarter of the Musketeers' game against Glenn Hills went Friday night. They faced little resistance and scored whenever they pleased during a 23-point quarter that flipped the meeting between Region 3-AAAA's last two unbeaten teams into a one-sided affair that ended 73-39 in Richmond Academy's favor.

Richmond Academy, which scored 10 of the last 12 points in the first half to lead by six at intermission, led by 23 points entering the final quarter on its way to earning their fifth double-digit region win in six attempts.

Desmond Lofland (16 points) led three Musketeers (7-1, 6-0) in double figures.

"We wanted to have a good game going into the (holiday)," Richmond Academy coach Steve Nobles said. "This was a good win against a quality team."

The game marked an obvious divide in both teams' schedules.

They won't play another region game until Jan. 5, and both leave town for tournaments after Christmas. Richmond Academy will go into that break unbeaten in the region primarily because of the way it attacked the basket coming out of halftime. Of the Musketeers' 23 third-quarter points, 16 came off layups created by their motion offense or fast breaks. The pivotal quarter sucked the suspense out of a game that initially had both crowds rising to their feet to react after every first-half point.

"That's what we want to do, we want to shoot lay- ups," Nobles said. "We don't want to live on jump shots. I don't think we hit a jump shot in the first half, and we were taking too many. Not to say we don't have any shooters, we just weren't in the flow of the game, and you have to be in the flow of the game to hit those."

Terrell Fitts led the Spartans (6-2, 5-1) with 13 points, but no one else had more than five. Coach Travis McRae said his team took too many outside jumpers. When those shots weren't falling, he said, Richmond Academy collected the rebound and zoomed down the court.

"Besides Fitts, they out-physicaled us," McRae said. "They were just naturally more aggressive. Their guards do a good job of rebounding, and that always helps you start the fast break.

"The key is you've got to make shots and make them take the ball out of bounds. We took a lot of 3s that led to a lot of easy runouts. That's the game right there."

Among its region foes, Richmond Academy has failed to defeat only Lakeside by fewer than 10 points. Raston Brown and Ivan Rushen each added 13 points for Richmond Academy.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com

From the Saturday, December 19, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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