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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Spartans knew that defeating MRVC East rival Knob Noster three times in one season would be a difficult task. The Spartans and Panthers’ third meeting of the season came Friday night in the Class 3, District 14 semifinals at Higginsville. This time around, the Panthers took advantage of a tough shooting night by the No. 2 seeded Spartans for a 54-43 victory and a spot in the title game against the tournament hosts on Saturday.
Higginsville would avenge its only loss of the season the following night with a 54-37 victory over Knob Noster. The Huskers are scheduled to meet Butler (22-6) Wednesday night in the Class 3 sectionals at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia.
Richmond shot just 27 percent against Knob Noster Friday night. The Spartans hit 7 of 22 attempts inside the 3-point arc, and just 8 of 32 tries outside of the line. While the Spartan offense struggled to get going, the Knob Noster offense relied on its 6-7 junior David Barton inside, and guard Brett Marsh, another junior, to provide the outside scoring.
Marsh scored 15 points to pace the Panthers (21-8), with Barton adding 13 and senior guard Aaron Hale chipping in 11 points. Reid Summers led the Richmond scoresheet with a game-high 24 points, with Lendarrius Pritchett being held to 8 points on a pair of fourth-quarter 3-point buckets. Tevin Robinson scored 3 points for Richmond, followed by Quinton Maxwell with 4, while John Landwehr and Andrew Nolker adding 2 apiece.