Richmond Senior has scored more than 100 points in 17 high school basketball games this season.
Butler High coach Myron Lowery, whose team hosts Richmond in a second round playoff game Thursday, said one of his team’s big goals is to keep the Raiders from reaching triple digits for the 18th time when the teams meet for a second-round playoff game Thursday night at Butler’s.
“We’re not giving up 100 points to anybody, at least that’s my plan,” said Lowery, whose team is No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16. “We’ve scouted them pretty well and we know what they’ve got, and that type of basketball they play does pose some problems. So we can’t take bad shots or turn the ball over, where we can’t play defense and it ends up as an easy layup.”
Butler (27-0) had three turnovers in a 74-50 win over Winston-Salem Reynolds. But expect Richmond to pressure the Bulldogs full court Thursday, inviting Butler to play faster than. It’s a defensive scheme similar to what coach Shaka Smart used successfully at Virginia Commonwealth. He called the scheme “Havoc.”
“Well,” Lowery said, “Richmond’s is worse than VCU. It’s constant and they sub five in and five out every 90 seconds. They’ve got guys shooting from the volleyball line. Anybody will shoot from anywhere, and they can crash the boards. They’re athletes.”
Richmond beat Vance 123-118 at home Tuesday, despite Vance’s Cam Hamilton scoring a Mecklenburg County-record 63 points. Richmond’s Leon Zeigler had 42 points. Lowery said he expects another wide-open game Thursday, but not as fast as Vance-Richmond.
“It’s going to be a fast-paced game,” Lowery said. “We’re not going to slow it down. We’ve got athletes. Our pace is more controlled, but we’ll play our game. We just can’t give up all the points.”
Other Mecklenburg County matchups
Rocky River (17-10) at Greensboro Dudley (15-9): Rocky River is led by freshman Jaden Springer and sophomore Raquan Brown. The Ravens have won three of their past four. Dudley has also won three of four and beat South Mecklenburg 48-44 in the first round.
Northwest Guilford (21-5) at North Mecklenburg (23-3): Northwest is led by 6-foot-4 junior Tre’ Turner, who is one of the state’s top football recruits at wide receiver. North Meck, which reached the 4A semifinals last season, has won 10 in a row.
Independence (22-6) at Southwest Guilford (23-3): The visiting Patriots will try to upset the Cowboys, among favorites to win the 4A state title. It’s a rematch of Southwest’s 66-65 win over Independence in the third round of the 2016 playoffs, also played in Greensboro.
North Mecklenburg (17-9) at Ardrey Kell (22-6): North Meck’s Dynasty Heyward and Monell Dunlap average more than 35 points between them. The Vikings nearly upset Mallard Creek two weeks ago. ... Ardrey Kell, led by guard Journey Muhammad, has won six straight.
Southwest Guilford (20-7) at Mallard Creek (26-0): Southwest Guilford has lost three times since December, all to Northwest Guilford (25-2), which has won 21 straight. Mallard Creek is seeking its first state title appearance.
Mooresville (18-10) at Rocky River (20-7): Mooresville, which doesn’t have a double-figure scorer, must slow Rocky River, which has won five straight. Ravens star Ariana Nance averages 22 points.
Hough (22-5) at Greensboro Page (20-7): Three of Hough’s five losses were to unbeaten Mallard Creek, but the Huskies have had a stellar season. Page has won six of its past seven.