Moments after his team’s win, Richmond Academy boys basketball coach Steve Nobles was thinking about everything negative he just saw.
“Against Washington County, it’ll be ugly if we play like that,” Nobles said.
After jumping out to a big lead, the Musketeers hung on to beat Cross Creek 49-39 on Monday at Josey in the opening round of the Region 3-AAA Tournament.
Richmond Academy moves on to play Washington County, the South’s top team.
The Musketeers used size with William Jones and strong transition play from Jonathan Bradley and Marcus Walden to go up 15 points at the half before the team slumped.
Turnovers and missed defensive assignments by Richmond Academy helped the Razorbacks claw back. The Musketeers went scoreless for more than four minutes during the second half.
Cross Creek cut the deficit to six when Treaire Moore hit his third 3-pointer of the game to make it 45-39. But with less than a minute to go, the Musketeers survived to meet Washington County, who went 10-0 in subregion play. Moore scored 15 points and was the only Razorback to score more than six points.
“They always fight, regardless,” Cross Creek coach Carlos Carter said of his team.
That fight came after it looked like Richmond Academy would coast to a victory.
Jones was strong inside early, scoring six of the game’s first eight points. He also received good passes from the likes of Rashaud Lee for easy points.
Walden had three slam dunks on his way to 14 points.
Richmond Academy didn’t ensure its advancement to the quarterfinals until it forced key turnovers and converted its free throws on the last two trips to the line in the final minute.
“It seems we lose focus too easily,” Nobles said. “We have to stay focused and play four quarters.”