Tuffy Walker and Charles Avery had some big shoes to fill with point guard Kenny Dukes out with a leg injury.
The duo was up to the challenge as they combined for 32 points and six three-pointers to help Richmond Academy to a 54-48 win over Westside in a Region 3-AAA matchup at Richmond Academy on Friday.
Walker and Avery are usually shooting guards, but they had to share the point since Dukes was out.
"Avery stepped up and Tuffy Walker stepped up," Musketeers' coach Robert Rhodes said. "Everybody who played stepped up because we were missing our brain."
The two players scored 16 points apiece and Avery hit four three-pointers in the contest. Ironically, Avery is the first cousin of former Westside star William Avery, now a freshman at Duke.
The junior guard said it was ironic that he had one of the biggest games of his varsity career against his cousin's school.
"I always wanted to go to Westside," Avery said. "But I'm at Richmond Academy now, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of beating them. I'm not Will William. I have to be myself."
Walker said he found out firsthand how difficult it is to play point guard. Coach Rhodes said Walker wasn't leaving the game for anything, and he didn't, even though he was gasping for air at times in the final period.
"That's my point," Walker said of Dukes. "He has some small feet, but we had some big shoes to fill. This wasn't a one-man team, everybody had to do their part."
The duo combined for 14 points in the opening half as Richmond Academy took a 27-21 lead into intermission. Walker drilled one of his two three-pointers from the left wing at the buzzer to stretch the margin to six.
Avery would hit two three-pointers in the third as Richmond Academy 6-1, 3-0 in Region 3-AAA built its lead to 39-27 after three periods and to 14, 41-27, with 6:53 remaining in the game.
Westside 5-2, 3-2 would never get closer than six, 48-42, the rest of the way. Patriots' star power forward Ndu Egekeze scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked four shots and had one steal.
"We knew he Avery could shoot," Patriots' coach Marvin Fields said. "But in the games we had seen, he had not shot the ball with the consistency he shot it tonight."
Richmond Academy will leave this morning to join area squads Butler and North Augusta in the GrindstaffMcDonald's Classic in Elizabethton, Tenn. Richmond Academy is replacing Evans, which dropped out to participate in a Columbia County tournament.
In the girls' game, Natasha McFarley scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds as defending Class AAA state champion Richmond Academy 8-0, 4-0 in Region 3-AAA won its 25th consecutive game.
April Steele added 13 points and seven steals, and Quanda Ball 12 points and five rebounds as the Musketeers geared up for Friday's showdown with defending Class AAAA state champion Stone Mountain in the Ladies Night Out Holiday Basketball Classic at Richmond Academy.
"As far as I know, they are still undefeated," Musketeers' coach Pat Rivers said of Stone Mountain. "I'm looking forward to it. It should be some exciting basketball."
[cf3]WESTSIDE 48 -- Quan Hartfield 13, Brandon Anderson 2, Terry Jackson 11, Elri Parker 9, Ndu Egekeze 13. Totals 18 9-14 48.
RICHMOND ACADEMY 54 -- Tuffy Walker 16, Mohammad Rashada 1, Quincy Murphy 6, Jacona Pierce 9, Aaron McTier 6, Charles Avery 16. Totals 19 10-21 54.
Westside[wl]13 8 6 21 -- 48
Richmond Academy[wl]12 15 12 15 -- 54
3-point goals: Westside 3 Hartfield, Jackson, Parker, Richmond Academy 6 Avery 4, Walker 2. Records: Westside 5-2, 3-2 in Region 3-AAA; Richmond Academy 6-1, 2-0 in Region 3-AAA. Next: Westside vs. Abbeville, Dec. 26, 1 p.m., Big Blue Classic, Lander University, Greenwood. Richmond Academy vs. Elizabethton-Pound Va. winner, today, 8:30 p.m., GrindstaffMcDonald's Classic, Elizabethton, Tenn.
WESTSIDE GIRLS 36 -- Shari Darden 6, Katie Lawrence 16, Bellamy O'Brien 2, Lisa Thacker 6, Brook Allen 6. Totals 17 2-5 36.
RICHMOND ACADEMY 56 -- April Steele 13, Natasha McFarley 15, Jessica Johnson 2, Kristy Scott 5, Quanda Ball 12, Edwina Johnson 5, Kendra Cox 4. Totals 23 6-15 56.
Westside[wl]10 8 10 8 -- 36
Richmond Academy[wl]10 18 10 18 -- 56
3-point goals: Richmond Academy 4 Steele 2, Scott, Johnson. Records: Westside 3-4, 2-3 in Region 3-AAA; Richmond Academy 8-0, 4-0 in Region 3-AAA. Next: Westside vs. Butler, Dec. 26, 10 a.m., Twin State Holiday Invitational, Aiken High. Stone Mountain vs. Richmond Academy, 9 p.m., Dec. 26, Ladies Night Out Hoop Classic, Richmond Academy.