RHS surges to 3-0

RHS surges to 3-0

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RHS surges to 3-0

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LOGANSPORT, Ind.

Davious Webster escaped from a pair of Logansport defenders, drove to the basket for a layup and was fouled making the shot.

It wasn’t the Richmond junior’s first trip to the free-throw line. Nor was it his last.

Webster was 9-of-9 in free throws in the fourth quarter Saturday, helping Richmond stay undefeated in the North Central Conference — and setting up a pivotal conference clash this coming weekend.

Webster scored all but two of his 22 points in the second half as the Red Devils downed Logansport 86-81 at the Berry Bowl.

“Just confident and staying focused,” Webster said of his fourth-quarter free throws. “Just really doing what I’ve been working on, which is free throws.”

Richmond’s Mike Tillman earned game-high honors with his 24 points — and the senior sharpshooter swished seven 3-pointers — as Class 4A No. 11 Richmond improved to 11-1 overall, 3-0 in the NCC.

Also 3-0 in the conference is Marion, Richmond’s upcoming opponent Friday at Tiernan Center.

Tillman teamed with Webster and Kendal Baker to hit free throws down the stretch as Richmond put its third straight win away.

“When my teammates are finding me like that, I feel like I can hit any shot,” said Tillman, who canned four 3-pointers in the first quarter. “I was just catching it and shooting with confidence.”

Also helping with confidence was an 11-0 Richmond run to start the third quarter.

RHS trailed 38-36 at the break, but surged after halftime. Tillman hit a pair of treys during that roll, with Webster providing another 3.

The Red Devils turned that two-point deficit into a 47-38 lead in less than 90 seconds.

“If you’re mentally going to make some mistakes that we made, then you’re physically going to have to put yourself up by 10 points or so, and that’s what we did, basically,” said RHS coach Joe Luce.

Richmond never trailed the rest of the way, though the Berries did tie the game one more time, and cut the Red Devil advantage to one a few more times.

Each time, Richmond found a way to stay in control.

Many times, it started with Webster.

“I thought Webster finally really showed what type of a player he can be at an elite level,” Luce said. “In the fourth quarter he was great.”

Webster scored 15 points in the fourth quarter before fouling out with 18 seconds left.

“We just came out with more energy,” Webster said of the second half.

“(We were) really talking to each other.”

Joel Okafor scored 11 points for Richmond, while Zach Lett added nine, Nick Thomas scored eight and Abdul Shabazz six.

Isaiah Rader, Baker and Devin Thomas also scored for the Red Devils. Tillman led Richmond’s rebounders with a game-high eight, with Lett and Nick Thomas grabbing four each.

Andrew Wamsley paced five Berries in double figures with 20 points.

Carter Skaggs scored 17 for Logansport (8-3, 0-3), with freshmen Matt Jennings and Jalen Adaway scoring 16 and 10, respectively.

“We walk out of here with a lot of respect for the basketball team we played,” Luce said. “I thought they showed great signs of team chemistry.”

Tillman said free-throw shooting has been a big part of Richmond’s practices.

“That’s what we’ve been focusing on, because that’s what we’ve been struggling with,” Tillman said. “We’re really trying to pick up our free-throw percentage as a team.”

While Saturday’s winter weather wiped out almost all of the area’s Saturday schedule, the Red Devils avoided it by traveling to Logansport on Friday.

“I think it’s important for our kids and our coaches to understand that the resources we have and the things we’re allowed to do are not common,” Luce said. “We have an outstanding athletic department and a principal who supports our kids being put into competitive situations, the right situations, the safe situations, and last night was a very smart move.”

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