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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The third-place battle between Richmond and Odessa at Saturday’s Husker Classic was truly a battle. With the help of clutch free throw shooting down the stretch, the Spartans were able to hold off the Bulldogs to claim a 55-43 victory and their second consecutive third-place finish at Higginsville.
Richmond visited the free throw line 27 times Saturday afternoon and was successful on 17 attempts, but the Spartans hit their final six attempts in the closing 61 seconds of the game to turn a 4-point lead into the win. The Richmond defense held Odessa off the scoreboard over the last 1:36 of the game.
Reid Summers took advantage of the free throw opportunities as the Richmond junior converted 10 of his 15 attempts, including 6 of 9 in the fourth quarter, on his way to scoring a game-high 23 points. John Landwehr scored 4 points for Richmond, but all 4 of those were in the fourth quarter on a field goal and a pair of free throws in the closing minutes, while Tevin Robinson was 4 for 4 from the line to score Richmond’s final points.
Odessa opened up the game controlling the offensive boards as the Bulldogs grabbed a 6-0 lead. Following a Richmond time out, the Spartans battled back to even up the contest at 13-all entering the second period. Richmond picked up the defensive pressure as the second quarter began to help the Spartans to a 20-15 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining in the half.