ROCKINGHAM — The Scotland and Richmond rivalry is not reserved solely for the gridiron. The tension was palpable on Friday as the referees were forced to separated players on the hardwood to keep a fight from breaking out in the first five minutes of the game.
The coaches were warned to keep their players under control or technical fouls and ejections would follow.
Richmond led the first two quarters of Friday’s game taking a 24-22 lead into the locker room. The second half would belong to the Scots and senior Janoah McRae.
By the end of the third quarter, the Scots had taken a 39-32 lead and extended that with three three-pointers in the fourth quarter from McRae. The jump shots silenced the Raiders fans and brought the Scots bench and fans to their feet.
The Scots 58-42 victory over the Raiders and a loss by Pinecrest allowed them to secure the No. 2 seed in the conference. The loss dropped Richmond to the No. 7 seed and set up a third meeting between the rivals on Tuesday in the first round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference Tournament.
For the second year in a row, Hoke wears the regular season conference championship crown with a perfect 14-0 record and are 22-1 overall. Hoke’s only loss came in non-conference action back in November against Christ School, 63-55, during in the NCBCA Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout.
Scotland earned the No. 2 seed with a 9-5 conference record and are 15-7 overall. Pinecrest earned the No. 3 seed with a 9-5 conference record — same as Scotland, but the Scots won the tiebreaker after beating the Patriots in both of their meetings.
Lumberton earned the No. 4 seed with an 8-6 conference record and are 13-11 overall — edging out No. 5 Seventy-First, who also finished with an 8-6 conference record. The Pirates got the led up on the Falcons with two wins over Scotland.
The No. 5 seeded Falcons 8-6 conference record was accompanied by a 14-9 overall record.
Jack Britt earned the No. 6 seed with a 4-10 conference record and finished the season 9-14 overall — two games ahead of Richmond and Purnell Swett.
Richmond earned the No. 7 seed — graduation hit the Raiders hard after finishing second in the SEC last season — with a 2-12 conference record and 1-17 overall.
No. 8 seeded Purnell Swett finished the season 2-12 and 6-15 overall for last place in the Sandhills Athletic Conference.
The opening round of the SAC-8 tournament gets underway on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with the four higher seeds — Hoke, Scotland, Pinecrest and Lumberton — hosting the four lower seeded teams — Purnell Swett, Richmond, Jack Britt and Seventy-First.
The winners of Tuesday’s first round games will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 15. The winner of Hoke vs. Purnell will take on the winner Lumberton vs. Seventy-First while the winner of Scotland vs. Richmond will play the winner of Pinecrest vs. Jack Britt — with the highest seeded team hosting.
The boy’s SAC-8 championship game will be held on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. with the higher seeded team hosting.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.