By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
RICHLANDS, Va. —
That is the word that describes Friday night’s girls high school basketball game between Richlands and Lebanon. It came down to the last second and when the final buzzer sounded the Richlands Lady Blues escaped with a 69-68 win over the Lebanon Lady Pioneers at Richlands Middle School.
Lebanon took the early lead before Richlands tied the game on Nadia Ashiq’s layup. Sarah Compton’s three point play then gave the Lady Blues the lead.
After a tie at seven, Richlands went on a 6-0 run on a basket by Montana Hearl and a pair of free throws by Hearl and Lani Rhinehart.
Richlands pressed Lebanon early, which proved successful and the home team led 15-11 after one quarter of action.
Back-to-back threes by Rhinehard and Hearl pushed Richlands’ lead to eight points and Olivia Harmon’s trey made it a 12-point lead. Richlands went up by as many as 16 in the half, but Lebanon’s Madison Compton drilled a three at the buzzer to give Richlands a 35-22 halftime lead. Richlands was paced offensively in the opening half by Sarah Compton, Hearl and Harmon who each scored nine points. Brittany Allen, who scored 39, Thursday night against Graham, was held to one point.
“They were playing a diamond-in-one on us and we knew the other girls had to step up, Olivia Harmon, Sarah Compton, Montana Hearl, and Lani (Rhinehart) came in and did a good job on defense,” said RHS head coach Dennis Palmer.
Lebanon began its comeback midway through the third quarter. Madison’s three made it a 10-point game and the Lady Pioneers were down nine as the fourth quarter began.
The visitors cut further into the lead, making it a five-point game, 58-53, at which time Richlands called timeout. It would get closer.
Elizabeth Johnson’s bucket underneath made it a three point game with two minutes to play. And two free throws by Hannah Cox made it a one point game. Cox later tied the game with two free throws.
Richlands, got its offense from the charity stripe, mostly from Allen, who in the fourth period was six-of-six from the line.
“We’ve been shooting free throws well all year and we work on them a lot in practice,” Palmer said. “We’re a driving team and we like to go to the bucket and we know we’re going to go to the line a little bit. We do a lot of free throws.” Lebanon took the lead with 24 seconds left on a bucket by Sarah Stanley and Richlands’ Compton hit two free throws with 12.2 to play to give her team a 69-68 lead.
Lebanon missed a shot and the ball went out of bounds with 1.9 on the clock. The Pioneers retained possession and the inbounds pass went to Stanley who fired a three that hit the back of the rim and fell off as the buzzer sounded.
Lebanon head coach Rex Parker said, “They got a lead on us and we made a comeback. It was a heck of a game. Sorry somebody had to lose. I thought our press caught them off-guard and we were able to make some shots in the second half.”
Allen led Richlands with 17 points, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Hearl added 16 and Sarah Compton 15. Harmon tallied 11.
Cox led Lebanon and all scorers with 24. Madison Compton added 117 and Lindsey Stinson 10.
At Richlands Middle School
Sarah Stanley 1 0-0 2, Tracey Brooks 1 0-0 2, Lindsey Stinson 4 2-4 10, Elizabeth Johnson 4 1-3 9, Taylor Woodlief 1 0-0 2, Monica Parrott 1 0-0 2, Lexi Cantrell 0 0-0 0, Madison Compton 7 2-2 17, Hannah Cox 8 6-9 24, Totals 27 11-18 68.
Montana Hearl 43 5-7 16, Nadia Ashiq 2 0-2 5, Lani Rhinehart 1 2-4 5, Brittany Allen 3 10-12 17, Alex Sword 0 0-0 0, Olivia Harmon 5 0-1 11, Paxton Casey 0 0-0 0, Sarah Compton 5 5-7 15, Totals 20 22-33 69.
Lebanon…………….............................11 11 19 27 - 68
Richlands…………..........................….15 20 15 19 - 69
3-point goals: L – 3 (Compton, Cox 2); R – 5 (Hearl, Ashiq, Rhinehart, Allen, Harmon). Fouled out: L – Johnson, Compton; R – None.
Boys game: Lebanon 78, Richlands 53
The house was packed at Richlands Middle School, but the home crowd didn’t get all they wanted as the homestanding Richlands High School Blue Tornado fell to the Lebanon Pioneers 78-53.
“Martinsville, Graham, Lebanon, Abingdon, Virginia High. We are right in the meat of our schedule and we are taking some growing pains right now, but we’ll get through it,” said Richlands head coach Jody Fuller.
Lebanon opened the game on a 12-2 run but Richlands closed to within four on threes by Grant Herndon and Luke Phillips, but the inside play of the taller Lebanon squad and sharp-shooting from the perimeter proved trouble for the Blues as the Pioneers led 21-12 after the first quarter.
In the second period Richlands got its outside shot going, picking of threes from Phillips, Herndon and Ben Brown, but the Pioneers proved too much, especially Owen Slate, who hit from outside and inside, scoring 10 points in the stanza and leading his team to a 40-27 halftime lead. Down by as many as 20 early in the third, Richlands played its best defense in that quarter, holding Lebanon to 13 points while scoring 15, Scottie Ball and Landon Lowe coming off the bench to put the ball in the basket.
“We cut it to 11, had two really good looks and couldn’t cut any further into it,” Fuller said. “They went down, hit one and then it snowballed.”
Lebanon pulled away in the final quarter as once again they hit from long distance, three treys and claimed the victory.
Lebanon coach Thad Lambert said, “We hadn’t played a game in seven days and I was really happy with the energy and intensity we opened the game with. I thought Richlands played a really good third quarter.”
Ben Brown led Richlands with 13 points and Ball added 10. Lebanon had four scorers in double figures, led by Slate with 22. Big man Tanner Robinette dropped in 16, Will Stamper 13 and Ben Sexton 12.
At Richlands Middle School
Ben Sexton 4 2-2 12, Jake Smith 3 0-0 6, Nick Helton 1 0-0 3, Will Stamper 4 2-2 13, Ben Long 1 0-0 3, Austin Bollinger 1 0-0 3, Owen Slate 9 3-5 22, Caleb Adams 0 0-0 0, Tanner Robinette 8 0-1 16, Totals 31 7-10 78.
Luke Phillips 2 2-3 7, Grant Herndon 2 0-0 6, Cody Fuller 1 0-0 3, Ethan Ratliff 1 0-0 2, Scottie Ball 5 0-1 10, Ben Brown 3 5-10 13, Zach Johnson 2 0-0 4, Anthony Austin 0 0-0 0, Landon Lowe 2 4-5 8, Totals 18 11-19 53.
Lebanon……………….21 19 13 25 — 78
Richlands……......……12 15 15 11 — 53
3-point goals — Leb 8 (Sexton 2, Helton, Stamper 2, Long, Slate, Bollinger); Richl 6 (Phillips, Herndon 2, Fuller, Brown 2). Fouled out — None.