Despite giving up open looks, too much dribbling on offense and missing late free throws, Richmond Academy ended up with a victory.
The Musketeers held on to defeat Cross Creek, 50-48, Tuesday night at Richmond Academy in a hectic game that was close throughout and also featured key turnovers, big rebounds, important foul calls and a missed last shot.
“We got a lot of work to do,” Richmond Academy coach Steve Nobles said. “That’s needless to say. I thought we’d be farther along.”
Trailing 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter, Richmond Academy (2-1) scored 18 points, with Jonathan Bradley, Marcus Walden and Denzel Washington combining for 17.
Walden’s crucial putback in traffic gave the Musketeers the 47-44 lead, but DeCorian Davis and Treaire Moore scored back-to-back buckets to give the Razorbacks the advantage for the final time.
Richmond Academy’s winning points came from a Bradley score inside prior to the Musketeers hitting only one of their next four foul shots.
Neither side was up by more than five points in the contest, with Cross Creek using ball movement to find open shooters early to erase a 13-8 deficit and go up 18-13.
Then, after Richmond Academy scored only seven points in the third, it had its best scoring quarter in the fourth to pull out the win.
The margin was much wider in the girls game, when Cross Creek forced a flood of turnovers late in the first quarter to lead to a string of layups in quick succession in a 66-35 win.
The Lady Musketeers, led by Carlysha Golatt’s 14 points, struggled to get the ball past midcourt or maintain control of the ball after inbounds passes during the decisive first-quarter dominance. Jasmine Kilgore and Breanna Bryant helped Cross Creek score three times in the waning moments of the first period as Cross Creek, a roster of primarily sophomores and juniors, crowded ball handlers and forced turnovers with quick hands.
The number of close looks remained at a high volume from there, with players like Ashleigh Outler taking the ball from an opponent’s grasp in the second quarter for a steal. Cross Creek (3-0) scored 21 of the game’s first 23 points.
It also led 37-12 at the half and was never threatened, with Bryant, Outler and Tia Pullens combining for 38 points.
“This year, we’re really trying to incorporate more pressure,” Cross Creek coach Kim Schlein said.