Perhaps showing some effects of their 52-point Lawson Invitational semifinal loss to Hamilton just a night earlier, the Richmond Lady Spartans had trouble getting things going in their third-place game with Plattsburg Friday night. However, Richmond recovered from a 16-6 first-quarter deficit and rallied for a 37-33 victory over the Lady Tigers.
“We came out flat on both ends in the first quarter,” Lady Spartan Coach David Littrell said. “In the second quarter, our defense did a nice job holding them to two baskets, but we couldn’t get a shot to fall.”
Richmond trailed 20-9 at the break, and then got the offense going in the third quarter. The fourth-seeded Lady Spartans trailed 27-20 heading into the final period, and finally tied the game 33-33 with 21 seconds left. Jordan Thoreson, who ended the night with 7 points, then hit a bucket to give Richmond its first lead of the game.
The Lady Spartan defense forced a turnover at the other end of the court with 8 seconds left and forced Plattsburg to commit a pair of fouls to get Richmond to the free throw line.
Stephanie Williams then hit both ends of a one-and-one for Richmond with 5.2 left in the contest to put the game away and push Richmond’s record to 5-6 for the season.
Littrell said his team played its best basketball of the season in the second half.
“Our defense did a great job forcing some key turnovers which fed our offense,” he said. “We matured on the floor tonight, we had players that really stepped up on both ends of the court. The girls are playing with a lot of confidence, it couldn’t happen at a better time heading into conference play.”
Kayla Hewitt, who was named to the All-Tournament team, led Richmond scoring with 13 points, with Williams adding 9 – 7 of those in the final quarter. Ariel Hoard scored 6, followed by Hayley Padgett with 2.