RICHMOND – The five seniors on Richmond’s varsity girls basketball team got a few minutes of court time together during Tuesday night’s 61-37 loss to Lafayette County of Higginsville.
In keeping with a Senior Night tradition, coach Chad Snyder started his five seniors when the Spartans hosted the Huskers in Missouri River Valley Conference East Division action.
“That’s a good thing for us … (we) have five seniors that … (have) been here every day, practicing hard. … At least they got to step out on the floor, as a group, that one final time,” Snyder said. “Just unfortunate we didn’t play better.”
Those who started in their last game on their home floor were Alyssa Manning, Skylar Quick, Katie Smith, Abby Vandiver and Taya Weber.
“It meant a lot, especially (with us) going through high school together … knowing that was kind of the last time (to play together). … I really, really enjoyed it,” Quick said.
Quick got to do something else for her home finale: jump for the opening tipoff. The 5-foot-4 forward went up against Sadie Kumm, a 6-2 senior.
“I always jump around before the game,” Quick said. “And so, I convinced Snyder to let me do (the) jump ball, because I’m always like, ‘Oh, I can jump super-high because I’m super-hyper before the game.’ So he just decided, since it was Senior Night, ‘Just go ahead, why not let it happen?’”
Kumm and her fellow Huskers opened with a 9-0 run against Richmond’s senior-laden lineup. They went on to lead 20-11 after one quarter and 31-22 at halftime.
“We started out the game well,” Lafayette County coach Keith Alberti said. “We kind of took advantage of the situations we were in. We boxed out well. We did a lot of those little things. And with that … we really put ourselves in a good position.
“We hit some … good, early shots, too. I was really proud of the way we worked the ball high-low with our post (players). Our post action was really good tonight in getting us some good, timely shots and getting us some good baskets to start the game.”
The Huskers followed up that start by outscoring the Spartans 30-15 the second half.
Junior Ava Murphy led the Spartans offensively in their home finale with 15 points. Sophomore Emmalea Kilpatrick also reached double figures with 12 points.
Senior Emily Dickmeier paced Lafayette County with 15 points. Kumm contributed 12 points and Reagan Craig added 10.
The Senior Night defeat put the Spartans at 10-13 overall and 3-6 in the MRVC East entering their divisional and regular-season finale Thursday at Carrollton. They are slated to open postseason play Feb. 24.