Richmond takes its North Central Conference hopes on the road again this week.
The Red Devils visit Anderson on Friday for an 8 p.m. tipoff — and a matchup between the conference’s second-place teams.
RHS and Anderson are both 3-1 in conference play, but are coming off very different weekends. The Red Devils erased a 15-point second-half deficit at Marion this past Friday to improve to 12-5 overall, while the Indians dropped a 69-64 decision to NCC leader Kokomo after leading at halftime.
“We need to hopefully find another way to win on the road … and just keep controlling our own destiny,” said RHS coach Joe Luce. “It’s one game at a time.
“I think it will be a classic matchup. A very good basketball game.”
It will be on a different court than the Devils are used to in Anderson.
The Indians no longer play at the historic Wigwam, instead now playing at the high school, which is the former Madison Heights.
“It’s a nice, smaller environment,” Luce said. “They have a great home crowd, generally, and lots of enthusiasm.
“For me, it was always a personal highlight to coach in the Wigwam. I had a chance to play there as a player and a chance to coach there a few times. I will miss that setting, but that’s the past and we’re moving forward. The opponent is the most important thing.”
Anderson (13-3) bounced back from the Kokomo loss to dispatch Fort Wayne Snider 71-63 the next evening.
Jalin Beard scored 20 points, Chris Lemon 17 and Trey Boyd 12 for the Indians against Kokomo. Boyd scored 20 against Snider, with Lemon netting 19 and Beard 16.
“It’s a ballclub that has a star player in Trey Boyd and lot of good pieces around him,” Luce said of the Indians. “It’s a veteran club that has outstanding leadership from a senior class that has a mentality of never quitting and fighting to the end.
“They just continue to bring it for 32 minutes. We need to match that same intensity.”
RHS dug itself out of a deep hole in its last game.
The Red Devils trailed Marion by 15 points midway though the third quarter, but rallied for a 66-57 victory, the fourth straight for Richmond.
Charles Hampton paced the Red Devils with 20 points, with Joel Okafor scoring 12.
“At the end of the day, we need to find a way to put together some offensive basketball, as well as the consistent defense we’ve been playing,” Luce said.
“Every time our guys get a chance to play and gain confidence, it’s huge for us.”
Hampton leads RHS with 14 points per game, with Okafor adding 10.3, Davious Webster 8.9 and Abdul Shabazz 6.
“We have to keep it going. It’s just another step we have to take,” RHS senior Jai Wright said of Friday’s game.
The Red Devils are in the midst of a four-game NCC stretch, with wins over Logansport and Marion, and a home game upcoming Feb. 7 with New Castle.
Kokomo leads the conference at 4-0. The Wildkats play host Friday to Huntington North.
“We need, if possible, to have some people follow us and support us at Anderson and give our kids the backing they’ve kind of earned over the course of the last four games, and keep themselves in the conference race,” Luce said. “We want to control our own destiny, and we hope we get lots of support from those around us.”