By Kenneth Schott
MT. PLEASANT — Against the best team in District 10-A, Mt. Pleasant’s girls were battling in a close game with Richland, forcing coach Chad Hall to call a timeout.
The Lady Raiders held a three-point lead midway through the third quarter going into the timeout. Coming out of the stoppage, the visitors put together a game-turning flurry to close the quarter and went on to a 72-49 victory — staying perfect in league play.
Richland (8-4, 4-0) had spurted away from the Lady Tigers two times previously, but Mt. Pleasant rallied each time. On the third occasion, the hosts made it a 39-36 game — prompting Hall to get his team’s attention.
They responded by outscoring Mt. Pleasant 17-3 to take control of the contest.
“We weren’t locked in,” said Hall. “(The way the game was going,) we thought we could outscore them. And maybe we could have outscored them, but it would have been a two or three-point game in the fourth quarter, and then there are a lot of variables.
“We got locked in and played defense, and it went from a three-point game to a 17-point game in just about three minutes.”
The Lady Raiders had a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, and Mt. Pleasant battled back to cut the gap to 19-16.
Richland went back up 26-16, only to see Mt. Pleasant cut the gap to five by the half, 32-27. The Lady Tigers scored the first goal of the third quarter and it was a three-point game again, 32-29.
Richland went ahead 39-32, and Mt. Pleasant cut it back to 39-36, prompting the timeout.
“We ran out of gas halfway through the third quarter,” said coach Amy Odom. “I would say (Richland’s girls) got a little bit chewed out (in the timeout). They’re a very well-rounded team. You can’t just shut one player down. And they’re a very well-coached team.”
Richland was led by guard Jesse Jennings, who had 26 points, and Allie Garner in the post, who had 15.
Addison Workman led Mt. Pleasant (4-13, 1-3) with 13.
“Mt. Pleasant is working their tail off, they’re much improved,” said Hall. “Give them a lot of credit. We probably took them a little lighter than we should have.”
No. 4 Raiders stay perfect: Scoring nine unanswered third-quarter points, Richland pulled away from Mt. Pleasant’s boys for a 67-44 win. It’s the 12th in as many tries for the Raiders, including three in league play.
With the score tied 32-32 in the third quarter, the Raiders went on a 9-0 run. Their full-court defensive pressure gave the Tigers problems and they turned it over and allowed Richland easy transition baskets. The visitors never trailed after that.
Chris Andrews kept the Tigers in the game in the first half with a strong effort. He drove to the basket and converted layup opportunities. Andrews was a perfect 5-of-5 in the first quarter for 10 points. He led the Tigers (6-8, 1-3) with 14 points.
Kentra Frierson had three 3-pointers and 11 points.
Mt. Pleasant continues to be without Demarkus Brown and Gavin Alderson; both are on pandemic-related quarantine.
Logan Helton scored a game-high 25 points for the Raiders, with Daniel Nicholson and Trey Luna each adding 15.
Richland girls 72, Mt. Pleasant 49
R 16 16 25 15 — 72
M 8 19 12 10 — 49
Richland (72) — Jesse Jennings 26, Allie Garner 15, Katie Garner 10, Kristen Garner 10, Gracie Braden 8, Shelby Higgins 3
Mt. Pleasant (49) — Addison Workman 13, Kielee Bradley 11, Baleigh Gray 9, Emily Crossman 8, Kenzie Gray 4, Maggie Simpson 2, Mariy Rogers 2
3-pointers — Richland 5 (Kr. Garner 2, Jennings, Ka. Garner, Higgins), Mt. Pleasant 5 (Bradley 3, Crossman 2)
Richland boys 67, Mt. Pleasant 44
R 21 9 13 24 — 67
M 17 11 7 9 — 44
Richland (67) — Logan Helton 25, Daniel Nicholson 15, Trey Luna 15, Jace Derryberry 6, Tyrell Randolph 4, Kolton Hood 2
Mt. Pleasant (44) — Chris Andrews 14, Kentra Frierson 11, Chandler Hughes 6, Keevan Cooper 4, Tip Marlow 3, Bennett Hughes 2, Hardin Hughes 2, Kyler Baker 2
3-pointers — Richland 7 (Nicholson 3, Luna 3, Helton), Mt. Pleasant 4 (Frierson 3, Marlow)