Short-handed Richards knocks off Marist

SHARE Short-handed Richards knocks off Marist

With the Richards football team playing in the Class 6A state title game on Saturday, the basketball team is forced to play without two of its projected starters — Dedrick Shannon and Spencer Tears — the entire first week of the season.

That total rose to three when guard Deon Alexander went on a family vacation and had to miss the title game of the District 218 Thanksgiving Tip-off Classic at Eisenhower Friday afternoon.

It didn’t matter, as the Bulldogs still cruised to a 59-40 championship win over Marist.

“We didn’t use that as an excuse we just tried to play our best,” Richards center Josh Meier said. “We knew we had a chance to win still. We tried not to talk about it at all. So we just wanted to get over the hump.

“We put a big emphasis on everybody stepping up.”

The Bulldogs (4-0) stepped it up in the second half when they went on a decisive 17-0 run to lead 49-25 early in the fourth quarter after leading just 23-21 at the half. Meier, who was held without a point in that half, scored nine of his 13 points during the run.

Thaer Othman led the Bulldogs with 19, including four three-pointers. Bradley Hill led the RedHawks (3-1) with 12.

“We had two really good weeks of practice,” Richards coach John Chappetto said. “Even in the first couple games you’re never really sure of how good you are. We had a lot of question marks coming into this.”

Meanwhile, the RedHawks, who had 20 turnovers, for the first time felt the weight of graduating 10 seniors from last season, including four starters. They led 10-6 early in the first quarter but after a 9-0 run by the Bulldogs came no closer than a 21-21 tie late in the second quarter.

Kevin Lerma, who had 28 points on Wednesday, did not play for the RedHawks after arriving late for the pre-game walk through.

“He’s a great kid though,” said Marist coach Gene Nolan of Lerma. ”I thought Richards defensive pressure really got to our guards. They are well coached and in the third quarter we weren’t getting high percentage shots and couldn’t stop them defensively.”

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