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The Richmond Spartans might have spent the first half of their non-conference game Monday night with St. Paul’s peeking ahead to this evening’s battle with MRVC East leading Higginsville. The Spartans fought off a sluggish opening 16 minutes before finishing strong on the way to a 61-41 victory over the Saints, and can now focus their attention on a rematch with the Huskers at the RHS gym.
Richmond improved to 15-6 for the season while dropping the visitors from the I-70 Conference to 7-9.
The Spartans and their fans capped off the evening celebrating a basket by Cody Stevens, the senior manager who was being honored for his four years of dedicated work with the RHS athletic teams. Stevens, who also got some court time during the junior varsity contest, entered the game with about 4 minutes left and connected on a 16-foot jumper from the left baseline with just over a minute remaining to bring the crowd to its feet.
“Cody means a lot to this basketball team and it truly showed tonight,” Richmond Coach Duane Bastob said.
It took a while for the hometown fans to find something to get excited about as the evening began. Both teams battled on even terms throughout the first 4 minutes, before the Spartans closed out the opening period with a 15-12 lead. The Saints managed to even up the score at 17-17 with just 5:31 remaining in the half before Richmond went on a 10-0 run. The surge helped boost the Spartans to a 29-21 lead at the intermission.
Richmond got 3-point buckets early in the third quarter from Blaine Broderick and Jacob Swope as the Spartans began to stretch their lead. The Richmond lead reached 17 points with 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, and the Spartans went on to take a 49-33 cushion into the final 8 minutes.
Broderick ended the night with three buckets outside the arc on the way to scoring a team-high 13 points, with Robert Brewer providing the inside game. Brewer, the 6-4 sophomore, picked up a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Kyle Carroll hit a 3-point bucket as he scored 9 points to go along with 3 assists and a steal. Swope added a pair of 3-pointers to help him to an 8-point night, followed by Jon Vance with 6 points.
Trey Folvarcik also hit a 3-pointer while scoring 5 points with 3 assists, with James Vance adding 4 points with 4 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of assists. Jordan Smith, Tommy Gamble and Stevens ended the night with 2 points each, with Smith also credited with 2 steals.
Jordan Bredehoeft scored a game-high 14 points for St. Paul’s with Brandon Haake adding 13.
PHOTO: Jordan Smith (25) comes up with one of his two steals in Monday night’s 61-41 home victory over St. Paul’s. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)