Richmond leaned on its inside offense in the first quarter and its perimeter defense in the second period.
But a full team effort fueled a furious second half rally that saw the Red Devils earn their 10th straight win and hand NCC champion Lafayette Jeff its first conference loss of the season with a 79-75 Richmond victory Friday at the Crawley Center.
Richmond trailed by double digits at various junctures in the game, but senior Jordan Stolle stuck his third 3-pointer of the game to give the Devils (15-7, 7-2 NCC) a 73-70 lead it would not relinquish with just more than a minute remaining.
The Red Devils made enough free throws, including two by Tytan Newton with one second to go to clinch the victory against the Class 4A No. 4 Bronchos.
Newton was an instigator in the second half for Richmond, tallying 17 of his 19 points in the final two periods, while adding three assists. Meanwhile, it was Stolle who nailed two 3-pointers in the closing moments as Richmond gained control of the back-and-forth, up-and-down contest.
In the first three quarters, Richmond relied on the duo of Cleevas Craig and Tylan Harris. Craig had 19 points, eight rebounds, and four blocked shots. Meanwhile, Harris was red hot from 3-point range, making seven from behind the arc on his way to a career-high, and game-high, 28 points. He also added four rebounds and three assists.
Koream Jett chipped in four points and four assists for the Devils, who were shorthanded because of illness and battled foul trouble the entire game.
The victory clinched second place in the conference for Richmond, who became just the second team to win on Jeff’s home floor this year in denying the Bronchos (20-4) a perfect conference mark.
The Devils return to action with one last regular season game on Thursday when they travel to Franklin County. Richmond learns its tournament fate on Sunday when the IHSAA has its pairings show for the sectional draw.