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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Tough-luck shooting and a solid Oak Grove defense shut down the Richmond Spartans Wednesday night in the second game of the Husker Classic in Higginsville. The second-seeded Panthers advanced to Saturday’s championship game with a 50-35 win over Richmond. Oak Grove, now 4-0, awaits the winner of tonight’s semifinal contest between Higginsville and Odessa.
Richmond, now 2-2, will play for third place Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Richmond’s loss came one day following a 68-35 win over Brookfield in the opener. However, the Spartans could not find the range against Oak Grove as they hit just 30 percent from the field, including just one of 13 attempts outside the arc. Richmond also grabbed only 3 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over a dozen times.
Oak Grove knocked down 6 buckets from 3-point range, including three each by Jordan Douglas and Cole Doherty who ended the night with 14 points apiece. Reid Summers had 10 points to lead the Spartans and had the lone 3-pointer for Richmond.
The Spartans trailed 18-10 after the opening period. Alex Nolker hit a bucket for Richmond in the first minute of the second quarter to cut the Panther lead to a half dozen, but the Spartans did not score again until Summers’ 3-pointer with 2:29 remaining in the half. The Spartans continued to get good looks at the basket against the Oak Grove zone, however, could not get the shots to go down. While the offense went cold, the Spartan defense was also holding its own against Oak Grove. The Panthers did manage a pair of treys from Douglas before Summers connected.