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Multiple offensive threats pace Panthers

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A balanced offensive attack has allowed the Richards High School boys basketball team to thrive this season.

Multiple starters regularly score in double figures for the Panthers, who had a 21-9 record, including 2-3 in district play, as of Jan. 31.

Among the five teams in its district, Richards had the second most potent scoring attack entering the past Friday’s conference game.

During a 74-54 win over Oglesby, senior returnee Josh Barrett led the Panthers with 19 points. Darrell Lovings and Jack Bowen III each scored 18, while senior Fanin Fuller had 11.

“The team has been working extremely hard,” head coach Justin Bane said. “They are playing with great effort and energy.”

Richards defeated KOR 78-44 to win its homecoming game before a packed house, as every starter had at least three points. “The energy of the crowd was amazing,” the coach said, “and it was awesome to see so many fans and alumni come out and support these Panthers.”

A first-year Panther since transferring in, Lovings had 39 points and seven steals. Barrett recorded the special double-double by grabbing 15 rebounds and scoring 12 points. Noah Bay had 10 points and three assists.

The multiple scoring threats will be needed as the team battles for a playoff spot. Richards dropped a 55-53 decision Feb. 4 to Bartlett, ranked one position higher in the district standings to begin last Friday.

“The team is very focused on our district opponents and finding a way to make it into the playoffs,” Bane said. “The team is very committed to being one of the first Richards teams in many years to make it into the playoffs.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL: The Lady Panthers opened district play with a 2-3 record. They lost to Calvert Jan. 11, then beat the team Jan. 28.

Kylie Bates had a team-high 19 points in the squad’s homecoming victory. Elizabeth Holtey had four points, Makayla Rogers three and Zoey Allman and April Bowen two each.