Richmond’s regular season comes to an end Friday night as the Red Devils take on their final challenge before the start of the postseason.
Indianapolis Manual visits Tiernan Center for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
Richmond, ranked seventh in Class 4A, is 18-2. Manual is 7-11, and the Redskins are coached by Ryan Baumgartner, the son of former Richmond standout Rick Baumgartner, and the grandson of legendary former RHS coach Dick Baumgartner.
“We look forward to seeing a good game,” said RHS coach Joe Luce. “The Baumgartner name is a huge name in Richmond. That’s a big deal to play against Manual, and with him coaching that brings some recognition to his family and that’s important. That’s a big-time tradition, a big name in Richmond basketball.”
Richmond has won four straight, and 10 of its past 11 games.
The Red Devils are coming off a double weekend of victories over Kokomo, 81-73, and at Mt. Vernon (Fortville), 47-34. The win over the Wildkats gave RHS its first outright North Central Conference title since 1988.
“I’m ready for Friday night,” said RHS senior Mike Tillman. “(We want to) definitely show something for the end of the regular season.”
Manual fell 89-56 on Tuesday against Liberty Christian. The Redskins had defeated Indianapolis Arlington 58-32 prior to the loss to Liberty Christian.
“It’s definitely an improved team that will play pressure defense,” Luce said of the Redskins. “They are going to get the ball up the floor and they are going to go right at you. It’s definitely a much-improved team going in the right direction. They have some excitement ahead, too, because they can be a player in their sectional field (Class 2A Sectional at Triton Central). It should be a team that comes in with a lot on the line.”
Tillman leads the Red Devils with 15.5 points per game, followed by 9.5 from Davious Webster and 9.1 by Joel Okafor.
Tillman is one of six seniors who have been strong varsity contributors, along with Abdul Shabazz, Kendal Baker, Devin Thomas, Zach Lett and Nick Thomas.
“It’s Senior Night and we have a great senior class that we will celebrate that evening with their families and their friends and look back on what has been a fantastic four-year career for those guys, with hopefully more to come in the month ahead,” Luce said.
“It’s bittersweet,” added Shabazz.
For the RHS seniors, it’s one more chance to give the home crowd a show in the regular season. It’s also the final game before the Red Devils head to New Castle Fieldhouse for next week’s Class 4A Sectional 9.
Richmond drew Mt. Vernon (Fortville) in the tournament’s opening game 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re just looking to play hard,” Baker said.