The Richmond Spartans won back to back games for the first time this season, but had to work a little longer than they wanted. Richmond evened its season record at 4-4 by holding off a pesky Excelsior Springs Tiger squad 50-48 in overtime Monday night at the RHS gym.
Both teams spent the night battling back and forth and it appeared the Spartans would escape with a victory in regulation, but Logan Butler’s 3-pointer from just left of the key swished the net as the buzzer sounded knotting the game at 45-45.
Sean O’Connor’s 3-point bucket in overtime gave the Tigers their only lead in the extra session, before Richmond countered with Kyle Carroll’s jumper putting the Spartans on top for good, 49-48, with 1:45 left.
Blaine Broderick hit one of two free throws for Richmond a minute later, and O’Connor’s late 3-point attempt bounced off the rim and was pulled down by Robert Brewer to seal the win.
Spartan Coach Duane Bastob said his defense was the key.
“Our defense held strong,” he said. “Robert Brewer played his best game of the year as he dominated the defensive end.”
The 6-6 Spartan junior ended the night with 12 points with 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Richmond played well on the boards with Broderick and Caleb Benhardt grabbing 6 rebounds apiece. Broderick led the Richmond scoresheet with 15 points, with Carroll adding 11. Da’Ron Jenkins and Cody Gorham added 4 each, while Lucas Hook and Benhardt hit for 2 apiece. Benhardt, Broderick and Carroll grabbed 3 steals each.
Mike Birkeness led the Tigers, now 3-5, with a game-high 16 points, with Butler adding 15.
Richmond converted half of its 12 free throws, while the Tigers were 4 of 7 from the stripe.
The Spartans will begin defense of their Lawson Invitational title Tuesday night at 9 as they meet Lexington. Richmond is seeded third.