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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The showdown for the MRVC East title was not much of a showdown Tuesday night in the RHS gym. The Higginsville Huskers, the No. 7-ranked Class 3 team in the state, clinched at least a share of the crown with a dominating 60-32 win over the Spartans.
Higginsville, now 23-1 overall moves to 9-0 in conference with a game at home against Holden remaining Friday night. Richmond, 17-7, is now 7-2 in the league and will close out the regular season Friday at Carrollton. The Spartans lost at Higginsville earlier in the season, 72-49.
It was the third game in five nights for Richmond. After winning at home over Lexington Friday night, the Spartans came back to win the rematch with the Minutemen 73-31 Monday at Lexington before hosting the Huskers Tuesday night.
The Spartans struggled shooting the ball against Higginsville as they made just 27 percent for the night, including just 7 of 30 from outside the arc. Meanwhile, Higginsville got 25 points from Tyrell Thirkield, who had scored at least 30 points against Richmond in the last two meetings. Landon Figg added 16 points.
Richmond Coach Duane Bastob said it was a bad night all they way around for the Spartans.
“Way too many defensive breakdowns, a bad shooting night and too much Tyrell Thirkield to manage to be competitive,” he said. “Fortunately, we have another night to try to get better and we’ll get ready for Carrollton.”
Lendarius Pritchett led the Spartan scoresheet with 15 points, while Reid Summers added four 3-point buckets for his 12 points.
Richmond never had the lead Tuesday night. After a 3-pointer by Pritchett tied the game 4-4, Higginsville scored the next 4 points. Richmond got to within a point with less than 2 minutes left in the opening period, but Thirkield scored the next 4 points on a basket and two free throws.
The Huskers began to take full control of the game in the second quarter after another 3-pointer from Pritchett cut the visitors’ lead to 3. Higginsville responded with a 10-3 run to end the half for a 27-17 lead at the break.