Spartans clutch down the stretch

It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Richmond basketball coach Duane Bastob will take it as his Spartans held off the Tigers 61-54 Wednesday night in Excelsior Springs in his debut.
The Spartans showed a bit of rustiness as they hit the floor for the first time in the 2008-09 season, while handing the Tigers their second loss in as many nights to begin the new year.
Richmond committed quite a few turnovers in the contest, but was able to hit key shots down the stretch, especially at the stripe.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Bastob said. “Free throw shooting and the ability to finish were key.”
The Spartans’ biggest lead of the game was 9 points and that came as Jacob Swope hit the only Richmond 3-pointer of the game with 4:11 to play in the first half.
However, Excelsior Springs quickly erased that deficit with a 7-0 spurt, but the Spartans were able to hold on to take a 28-25 lead at the half.
The Spartans never trailed in the second half, but the Tigers spent the third period erasing a pair of 7-point deficits. A 5-0 run at the end of the third frame gave Richmond its second 9-point lead of the game 43-34 entering the final 8 minutes.
Excelsior Springs tied the game 49-49 with 3:10 remaining, but the Spartans converted 7 of 10 from the free throw line, including their final 6 to seal the deal.
Blaine Broderick led the Richmond scoring with 14 points as he hit all 8 of his free throw attempts with 6 of those coming in the final frame. The Spartan junior also dished out a team-high 6 assists and also led the way in steals with 5. Jon Vance scored 12 points and hit the boards for 6 rebounds.
James Vance scored 11 points to go along with 4 steals.
Swope scored 9 points with 4 assists, followed by Kyle Ash with 8 points and 4 rebounds, and Trey Folvarcik with 3 points and a pair of assists.
Seth Morton led the Tiger scoring with 16 points, while Josh McCoy added 11.
The Spartans will play their only December home game Friday night as they host Cameron, starting with the junior varsity game at 5:30 p.m.
PHOTO: James Vance (14) splits a pair of Excelsior Springs defenders near the top of the key in Richmond’s season-opening 61-54 win Wednesday night on the Tigers’ home court. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)

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