Richlands outlasts Lebanon
Lebanon (61) Vs. Richlands (68)
Jan 08, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
RICHLANDS, Va. — Before a packed house at Richlands Middle School the Blue Tornado kept their composure and withstood a furious Lebanon challenge on Friday night. Richlands won their fifth consecutive game with a hard fought 50-48 non-conference victory over the Pioneers.
“That was an ugly win, but I give a lot of credit to Lebanon,” Richlands coach Fred Phillips said. “It’s been 10 days since we played a game, we got off to a fast start but then it was a slow start in the third quarter. We made a run, then Lebanon fought back, it was a dogfight.
“I think my boys matured a little tonight. I would rather win ugly than lose pretty.”
The Blue Tornado appeared to be in complete control of the game, leading by as many as 13 points in the first half and holding a 27-17 advantage at intermission.
Nick Helton started the third quarter with a bucket for Lebanon to pull within 27-19. After each team went a couple of possessions with scoring, Cody Fuller broke to the basket for a layup to put the Blues back up by 10 with 6:25 to play in the third.
Long then ignited an 11-0 run with a trey and closed it with a couple of foul shots to put the Pioneers up 30-29 with just over two minutes to play in the third.
“You can’t count our team out,” said Lebanon coach Thad Lambert. “This bunch truly showed the heart of a champion. We are banged up, with a lot of injuries, but my kids showed they had a heart as big as an elephant.”
After the Pioneers took the lead, Fuller nailed another 3-pointer to put the Blues in front. Ethan Ratliff was fouled shooting a 3 and made all three fouls shots as Richlands took a 35-30 lead. It didn’t last.
Adam Hooker and Long connected from beyond the arc and Lebanon led by one going to the final stanza.
The final eight minutes was a nail biter for both sides. With the score tied at 40-all, after a Pioneer turnover Fuller made a transition layup to give the Blues a lead they would not relinquish with 5:50 to play.
Down the stretch Fuller and Luke Phillips made critical 3s for the Blues. Long had several clutch baskets for the Pioneers. Scottie Ball scored on a drive to the basket to put Richlands up 50-47 with 1:04 left to play.
“I give Lebanon all the credit in the world,” Phillips said. “But we could have folded the tent and came out with a loss, but we didn’t. We survived, showed some grit, I thought we answered the bell, but we have a long way to go.”
After a timeout, Lebanon ended up getting the ball to Stamper and a shot off the glass wouldn’t drop and the buzzer sounded.
“We had a chance,” Lambert said. “We got a little confused on our last inbounds play, but we got a shot and missed it. Great environment, loud environment, it was hard to talk to each other on the final play. It was a playoff type atmosphere and fun for everyone.”
Helton led the Pioneers with 15 points. Long (13 points) and Hooker (12) were also in double figures. Fuller (13 points), Grant Herndon (11) and Ball (10) led the Blues.
Richlands will play at Virginia High on Tuesday.

At Richlands Middle School
Helton 5 3-3 15, Stamper 0 3-4 3, Long 4 3-4 13, Hooker 4 0-0 12, McGaffee 1 0-0 3, Dishman 0 0-0 0, Sykes 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 9-11 48.
Phillips 3 0-2 8, Moir 0 0-0 0, Fuller 5 0-0 13, Ratliff 1 5-5 8, Ball 5 0-0 10, Lowe 0 0-0 0, Herndon 4 0-0 11, Farris 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Thomason 0 0-0 0, Richardson 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 5-7 50.
Lebanon...........................9 8 19 12—48
Richlands.......................14 13 8 15—50
3-point goals – Lebanon 9 (Helton 2, Long 2, Hooker 4, McGaffee 1), Richlands 9 (Phillips 2, Herndon 3, Fulle 3, Ratliff 1). Total fouls – Lebanon 13, Richlands 15. Fouled out - none. Technicals – Helton. JV game – Richlands 61-25.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Lebanon 17 14 13 17 0 61
Richlands 27 16 18 7 0 68
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