AUGUSTA — There were several chances for the Richmond High School boys basketball team to come back from a 20-point first-half deficit.

The No. 2 Bobcats cut that big deficit against seventh-seeded Waynflete down to three, but the Flyers held on, coming away with a 57-52 Class C South quarterfinal victory at the Augusta Civic Center on Monday.

A 3-pointer by Matt Rines, his only basket of the contest, with 2:57 remaining was as close as Richmond was able to get, as Waynflete forced a pair of turnovers, and Yai Deng and Asker Hussein each made a free throw to salt away the time and send the Flyers into Thursday’s semifinal against No. 3 Madison.

“I thought if we could get it down to 10 late in that third quarter, we would have a chance, and we did that,” Richmond coach Phil Houdlette said. “They battled. We are not the biggest team or the most skilled team, but we have a lot of fight. They leave it all on the floor.”

In the second half, the Flyers kept Richmond from tying the game, with the 6-foot-5 Deng blocking a key shot down the stretch.

“I am proud of the way they hung around and battled,” Waynflete (15-5) coach Rick Henry said. “I was pleased how they persevered. We were tentative on offense, but not on defense in the second half.”


Trailing 50-33 late in third quarter, Richmond made its move, including six straight points to close the frame by Zach Small, as the Bobcats were able to get within single digits, 50-41.

Hussein, who had 15 points, hit his fourth 3-pointer to give Waynflete a 55-46 advantage, but Richmond refused to go away, with Small nailing a trey before Rines followed suit.

For Houdlette, it was about his team’s defensive intensity in the second half that changed the tone of the game.

“We played with more defensive passion in the second half, and we got a few stops, and offensively, we can put some points on the board,” Houdlette said. “We wanted to get those loose balls, get on the floor, step in and take charges.”

“Richmond is very well coached, added Henry. “They are scrappy, and you could tell that we got back on our heels in the second half. They got after it and turned us over five or six times in a row in the third quarter.”

First half Flyers


There was little Richmond could do to slow the Flyers in the opening half. Waynflete shot 68 percent (15-of-22), along with seven 3-pointers.

“They just missed two threes in the first half,” Houdlette said. “I thought we played pretty decent defense in the first half, they just shot the ball incredibly well. They didn’t hesitate.”

Down 11-10, Waynflete made its next four shots for a 19-11 advantage through a quarter, and the Flyers kept it going to open the second, completing a 12-0 run for a 22-11 lead. Another big run, this one a 12-3 spurt, made for a 34-16 contest, and Deng’s drive to the basket made it a 40-20 game.

“They shot the ball really well, the best that I have seen a team shoot all season,” said Richmond guard Cody Tribbet, who had 15 points and three steals. “We buckled down on defense in the second half, and they didn’t shoot as well.”

“In the first half, we shot the ball very well,” Henry said. “It is one of those things where here you are not used to the shooting background. But, we got some momentum going.”

Small gave Richmond a bit of momentum to close the half, scoring five straight points to get the Bobcats to 40-25 at the break. Small scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the opening 16 minutes.

Matt Holt finished with a double-double for Richmond (16 points, 11 rebounds), while Small had seven boards. Rines picked up three steals.

Jack Meahl joined Hussein with 15 points to pace Waynflete, with Deng adding 13 points and seven rebounds. Hussein dished out five assists.

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