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Big road win keeps Spartans in conference hunt

By Russ Green
Sports Editor

With Higginsville already a leg up on Richmond and Carrollton in the MRVC East basketball race, neither the Spartans nor Trojans could afford another conference loss as the two teams met Tuesday night in Carrollton. The Spartans were the team to keep their title hopes alive with an impressive 59-44 victory as Richmond improved to 2-1 in the conference and 12-6 overall.
Carrollton fell to 1-2 and 14-3. Both the Spartans and Trojans have home-court losses to the 3-0 Huskers.
Spartan Coach Duane Bastob said his team knew the importance of the game, especially after losing to the Trojans a couple of weeks ago at the Lawson tournament. Bastob added that his team knew grabbing an early lead would be key.
“We wanted to make them chase us,” he said. “You go trailing by 10 to any of the top teams in the conference and you’re asking for trouble. We wanted to get out of the box early.”
The Spartans did just that by jumping out to a 16-6 lead in the opening period. The Trojans battled back by going to their strength inside with 6-6 seniors Brandon Eschenbach and Chris Bigby. Bigby did not play the first quarter, and Eschenbach battled for 6 first-period points and added 7 more in the second. With both big men in the lineup, Carrollton fought back to tie the game twice in the second quarter.
Three-pointers by Trent Dial and Kyle Carroll broke the 25-25 tie late in the first half to give Richmond a 31-25 lead at the break.
The Spartans would lead the home team the rest of the night.

The complete story is in the Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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