LISBON — For three quarters, Lisbon’s Jonah Sautter kept the Richmond High School boys basketball team on its heels, trailing by as many as 14 points as Sautter rarely missed.
Problem for the Greyhounds is a basketball game consists of four quarters, as Richmond rallied for a 57-55 Mountain Valley Conference win on Friday.
Nate Kendrick hit the buzzer-beating winning shot as the Bobcats improved to 5-2.
It was a tale of two halves, with Lisbon owning the first half behind 20 points from Sautter.
Guarded by Richmond standout Zach Small, Sautter’s moves to the basket had Small in foul trouble, with the senior picking up his third moments before halftime.
Kendrick picked up the slack, going one-on-one with Sautter in the second half, holding him to seven points while scoring eight of his 10 points after halftime.
“Nate takes pride in defending. We wanted to save Zach’s legs, keep him out of foul trouble, and I thought Nate took that challenge and played Jonah tough all over the place, along with Casey (Gorman) and Dan (Stewart),” said Richmond coach Phil Houdlette.
“We knew that we had to toughen up on Sautter and get more rebounds,” said Kendrick.
“A team like that, you just can’t hold them down,” said Lisbon coach Jake Gentle, whose 3-3 Greyhounds visit Telstar on Thursday. “They had 20 points at halftime, and you just knew that they were going to come out in the second half and attack the basket. They did a good job.”
Both teams came out strong in the opening eight minutes. Small and Stewart both had five points for the visitors, but no one on the Bobcats side was able to contain Sautter, who scored 15 points as Lisbon grabbed an 18-14 lead.
The second quarter was a nightmare for Houdlette’s team, which seemed more concerned with the officials than stopping the Greyhounds. Lisbon opened the quarter with a 9-0 run for a 27-14 lead, and the hosts cruised into half with a 32-20 edge.
“We were more concerned with things that we couldn’t control, and in the second half we started taking care of things that we could control,” said Houdlette.
Richmond found its game in the third quarter. However, Lisbon continued to maintain its double-digit lead as DJ Douglass nailed a 3-pointer, along with Sautter and Sean Scott for a 48-36 advantage heading to the fourth.
A key for Richmond was Kendrick, who hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to keep his Bobcats in it.
“For me, it is about getting more confidence in my shot,” said Kendrick.
“We have talked about that, having somebody else step up, and I think it gives our team depth. We have to have other guys score. I want to see Matt (Rines) and Zach score, but the others are key for us going forward,” said Houdlette.
Rines took over for Richmond in the fourth. Trailing 50-38, Rines hit three treys, including back-to-back daggers as the Bobcats finished off an 11-0 run to close to 50-49 with 4:14 remaining.
After a Lisbon timeout, Small blocked a Sautter shot, then drove to the basket, with Sautter picking up his fourth foul. Small made both free throws to give Richmond its first lead since a 9-8 edge in the first quarter.
Gorman finished off a pass from Small to put the Bobcats up 53-50, but Douglass hit his third trey to make for a 53-53 contest, and Seth Tapley gave the Greyhounds their final lead with 1:47 left off a nice pass from Sautter.
Richmond quickly tied the game as Rines, who had a team-high 18 points, scored inside, setting up Kendrick’s heroics.
“I thought we became a little bit fatigued at the end,” said Gentle after his squad was outscored 21-7 in the fourth quarter. “Our guys log a lot of minutes, and when legs get tired shots get short. I have to do a better job coaching. I should have utilized my timeouts more, and it comes down to just being better prepared.”
Sautter finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three assists to pace Lisbon, with Douglass adding 12 points.
Small had a double-double for Richmond with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with Stewart scoring nine points and pulling down a game-high 17 boards. Richmond out-rebounded the Greyhounds, 43-23.
The Bobcats shot 36 percent (22-of-61) from the floor, with Lisbon hitting on 37 percent (20-of -53).