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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Spartans stood toe to toe for one half with the Huskers on their home court in Higginsville Friday night in a battle for the top of the MRVC East. However, the Huskers showed why they are the team to beat as they took advantage of each Spartan mistake in the second half to remain unbeaten with a solid 72-49 victory.
Higginsville chalked up its 15th win in as many outings and maintained a solid grip on the conference lead with its fourth league victory while Richmond fell to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Husker senior Tyrell Thirkield picked up where he left off against the Spartans last March. After hitting for 30 points in Higginsville’s district semifinal win over Richmond last year, the Husker guard chalked up 32 points Friday night as he knocked down four 3-point buckets and went 4 for 4 at the free throw line. Defensively, he also came up with some steals that were converted into easy scores.
“The way Thirkield was playing, our margin for error was very slim and we didn’t perform like we needed to,” Richmond Coach Duane Bastob said.
The Spartans and Huskers were tied at 14-all after one period and a late Spartan surge in the second quarter gave Richmond a 30-28 lead at halftime. Richmond scored the final 6 points of the half, but Higginsville would take over the rest of the game after the intermission. The Huskers opened the second half with a 12-0 run and Richmond had no answer. Reid Summers stopped the run with a basket off a rebound 5 minutes into the period, but Higginsville countered with 9 consecutive points. Lendarrius Pritchett scored Richmond’s only other third-quarter points on a field goal with 25 seconds remaining.