By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Lady Spartans marked their return to the home court for the first time in almost a month in a big way Thursday night. Emma Long’s 3-point bucket at the buzzer helped push the Lady Spartans past defending MRVC East champion Higginsville 42-39. The Lady Spartans not only won their third in a row heading into a tough pair of games at this week’s Hamilton Invitational, but also handed the Lady Huskers their first league loss of the season.
Richmond spent most of the night, especially the second half, keeping Higginsville within reach thanks to a solid defensive effort over a Lady Husker team that won the first meeting between these two schools 52-25 in early December. The Lady Spartans, now 2-2 in league and 5-8 overall, kept the visitors off the scoreboard over the final 2:47 of the game.
Richmond Coach David Littrell said it was a huge win.
“Great defensive effort tonight,” he said. “The girls did a great job pressuring the ball, and communicating on the floor. I am very impressed on how well the girls executed the game plan. Trailing down the stretch they kept their focus, and put themselves in a position to win in the end.”
Richmond trailed 39-32 after Emma Dyer hit a short jumper for Higginsville. The Lady Spartans continued to keep up the defensive pressure. Miya O’Dell, who scored a game-high 21 points, scored to cut the Higginsville lead to 5 points with just under 2 minutes left. A Lady Husker turnover led to Sarah Davis’ only score of the night. Her shot in the lane trimmed the deficit to 3 points. O’Dell then tied the game with her only 3-pointer of the night with 38 seconds left.