Richmond will face two tests in boys basketball this weekend.
No. 1 for the Red Devils is No. 7. Richmond travels to Indianapolis tonight to face off with Class 4A No. 7 North Central.
The Devils then turn around Saturday night for another road trip, this time to St. Leon to face East Central.
“It’s a good opportunity to go to Indianapolis and play a very talented North Central team, and then come back with a good rivalry game with East Central,” said RHS coach Joe Luce. “Hopefully we’ll find out a lot about our team.”
Richmond found out it can score in its opener.
The Red Devils ran to a 95-34 victory over Northeastern last week to start the season 1-0. RHS hit 18 3-pointers in the win, with Kendal Baker’s 16 points leading four Devils in double figures.
North Central is 0-1 after falling 82-77 in its opener to current No. 3 Pike.
Freshman Eron Gordon paced the Panthers with 31 points in that loss, followed by 12 from Perry Poindexter.
Gordon is the younger brother of NBA star Eric Gordon. Eric Gordon scored 22 against Richmond his junior year when he and North Central visited Tiernan Center in February 2006.
“Eron Gordon is one of the most talented ninth-graders in the country,” Luce said. “That’s a great option for them to have.
” … In a lot of ways, they are similar to us with the experience. … At the end of the day, (North Central coach) Doug Mitchell is one of the premier coaches in Indiana and knows how to get guys to another level.”
North Central, then the top-ranked team in the state, held off RHS 76-68 last season at Tiernan Center.
The game was a confidence builder for the Red Devils, despite the final score. They were within two points of the Panthers before North Central pulled away in the final minutes.
Richmond’s sophomore guards, Joel Okafor and Davious Webster, both gained a large amount of experience last year. Webster scored 15 points last week, while Okafor netted nine. Senior Charles Hampton and freshman Reggie Jones each added 13 for the Devils.
Jones is currently battling a knee injury, though Luce termed his availability tonight as probable.
“At the end of the day, I thought our guys played well,” Luce said of last week’s performance. “We played with great momentum. We’ll build on that momentum. I want our guys to continue to play with confidence.
” … How we handle adversity will be a big telling point.”
East Central, Saturday night’s opponent, is 0-1 after a 68-45 loss to Jennings County. The Trojans travel tonight to take on South Dearborn.
“We want big games,” Luce said. “We want to have pressure put on us. We want to play in environments that are unfriendly.
“This is a great test for us to come back with very little rest because we play Saturday against a good East Central team that will be very physical, very strong and a team that is tough to beat at home.”