Richmond is the reigning champion in North Central Conference boys basketball, and the Red Devils want to make sure nobody has forgotten.
McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff and Harrison are all new to the NCC this year, and the Red Devils hosted the first of those three, McCutcheon, Saturday at Tiernan Center.
Following a smooth victory by Richmond’s girls that put the Red Devils in the driver’s seat of the girls’ race, Richmond’s boys completed the doubleheader sweep, improving to 3-0 in NCC boys basketball with a 65-50 victory over the Mavericks.
“It just shows where our program’s heading and where it’s going to keep on going once we leave,” said Richmond senior Auntonio Brown, who had 16 points. “Just shows that it was kind of weird that we didn’t get as much respect this year, because we have a new bully on the block and they were undefeated up until this point, and we had to come out here and show that we’re still top dogs in this conference. Pretty big win for our girls, too, and I love to see them be successful too.”
Richmond’s girls are the only remaining unbeaten at 5-0 in the NCC after Saturday’s 55-42 win over the Mavericks.
The boys are 3-0 and haven’t lost an NCC game since Feb. 15, 2013, at Kokomo.
The Red Devils (12-2, 3-0) won their 11th consecutive game by getting off to a hot start and a 13-6 lead after the opening quarter.
That lead reached 11 in the second quarter, before McCutcheon clawed back in it, hitting four 3-pointers in the frame, including three by Spencer Caldwell.
The Mavericks (10-2, 2-1) tied the game four times in the first half, but could not get over the hump as Richmond finished the second quarter on a 10-2 run, leading 29-24 at halftime.
“They’re a good team,” Richmond coach Joe Luce said. “They’re missing, obviously, a very good player in (Darnell) Butler and they’re missing their coach (Rick Peckinpaugh) tonight that wasn’t there, but that was a very resilient team that fought hard and gave us everything that they had.”
Four Red Devils finished in double figures with Davious Webster hitting four treys on the way to a game-high 17.
Brown added 16, Joel Okafor 15 and Adrion Burns 12, while Isaiah Rader added five.
McCutcheon, ranked sixth in Class 4A, entered the week 10-0 before suffering its first defeat, 60-55 Friday night at Wesftield.
“They’re a good team, so we knew coming in it was going to be a tough one for us,” Mavericks assistant coach Chad Peckinpaugh said. “It is early, but it is something that we all set goals for ourselves early in the year, is to win a lot of games, especially those conference games that we want to represent our school well, especially coming into this new conference. Give them credit, they’re a good team at home.”
Richmond travels to another NCC newcomer next Friday as the Red Devils visit Lafayette Jeff.
The Red Devils have NCC games remaining at home against Logansport (Jan. 23), Marion (Jan. 30) and Kokomo (Feb. 20) and on the road at Lafayette Jeff (Friday), Harrison (Feb. 6) and Muncie Central (Feb. 12).
“We have not played the Lafayette schools. That was the first one and that’s again, a good McCutcheon team, ranked sixth in the state this week and hopefully we are just continuing to get more confidence in ourselves and we have to control our own destiny,” Luce said.
“We have to continue each time we have a conference game to remember that we’re the returning conference champions. We’re undefeated, we’re at the top of it and we stay there as long as we win, and controlling your own fate and your own destiny’s what we want to make sure we’re able to do.”
RED DEVILS 65, MAVERICKS 50
MCCUTCHEON (10-2, 2-1)– P. Phinisee 4 1-2 10, C. Phinisee 2 1-2 5, Nunn 2 0-0 5, Heard 3 2-2 9, Deaton 3 2-2 9, Caldwell 4 0-0 12, Neill 0 0-0 0. TOTALS– 18 6-8 50.
RICHMOND (12-2, 3-0)– Brown 7 2-2 16, Burns 5 2-2 12, Rader 4 3-5 5, Webster 6 0-0 17, Okafor 5 4-4 15, Luce 0 0-0 0, Austin 0 0-0 0, Vanlandingham 0 0-0 0. TOTALS– 27 11-13 65.
McCutcheon 6 24 36 50
Richmond 13 29 50 65
3-pointers– MC: 8 (Caldwell 4, Deaton 1, Nunn 1, Heard 1, P. Ohinisee 1); RICH: 6 (Webster 5, Okafor 1). Rebounds– MC: 23 (Deaton 5, Caldwell 5); RICH: 23 (Okafor 7, Burns 6). Turnovers– MC: 9; RICH: 5. Fouls– MC: 14; RICH: 9. Fouled out– MC: C. Phinisee.