By Maurice Patton
LYNNVILLE – Few would have expected the gap between the No. 3 and the No. 6 team in the Associated Press Class A poll to have been 26 points.
But sixth-ranked Summertown rolled into Richland without two of its starters, and the host Raiders had the hot hand early – scoring in transition and connecting on four first-quarter 3-pointers to take control of an eventual 99-73 victory.
“Wes (Long) does a great job,” Richland coach Jason Loveless said. “They had a couple out. We can’t control that. We have to show up and play.”
With Grant Burleson missing his fourth straight game because of abdominal issues, and Zane Akins sidelined with a broken hand, Summertown didn’t have the firepower to match the Raiders (20-1) and their 30-12 first-quarter performance.
“They outrebounded us,” Long said. “You can’t give them all those second-chance points.
“They outplayed us. When you’re outmatched, you can’t let them play harder than you. That’s what happened.”
Logan Helton finished with a game-high 25 points and four 3s, with Daniel Nicholson and Trey Luna adding 23 and 21 points respectively while combining for four more 3s as Richland hit 10 total from behind the arc.
“We had really good energy to start the game, and we finished well in that first quarter,” Loveless said. “I felt we didn’t play well in transition defense. We gave them a lot of second-chance shots.
“Overall, I’m proud of my kids for doing what they’ve been doing all year. They’ve been unselfish. We’ve got four or five guys out there that can score, and they all share the ball well. That’s the type kids they are. They’ve got one goal, to get better and win, and they don’t care who’s doing it.”
Grayson Burleson scored 17 points and Gavin Burleson 16 to lead the Eagles (18-7).
Richland boys 99, Summertown 73
S 12 25 11 25 – 73
R 30 25 13 31 – 99
Summertown (73) – Skyler Trousdale 12, Jake Smith 8, Grayson Burleson 17, Gavin Burleson 16, Kaden Trotter 4, Harrison Gobble 7, Javen Edmiston 9
Richland (99) – Tyrell Randolph 10, Logan Helton 25, Daniel Nicholson 23, Trey Luna 21, Stevie Ballinger 8, Carter Edwards 3, Jace Derryberry 7, Kolton Hood 2
3-pointers – Summertown 6 (Trousdale 2, Smith 2, Gr. Burleson, Ga. Burleson), Richland 10 (Helton 4, Nicholson, Luna 3, Edwards, Derryberry)
Photos by Ric Beu / SM-Tn Sports