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Oilers battle wintry elements, fall to Mt. Eden

on December 17, 2012

Pre-game warm ups at Richmond High’s basketball gym took on a literal meaning Saturday afternoon. The gym’s heater didn’t work. So as the Mt. Eden Monarchs and Richmond Oilers players ran around the gym shooting layups and popping short jumpers, the fans in the stands kept their coats and hoodies on and huddled together.

It could’ve been worse. Instead the home crowd saw the Oilers warm it up and play good basketball.

The final score was 71-57 Monarchs, but the game was much closer than what the glowing lightbulbs on the scoreboard displayed. After three quarters the Oilers were only down by a bucket.

Richmond Oilers head coach Rob Collins told his team at halftime the ticket to winning was execution. “We have the ability they have,” he told his players in the locker room. “But we have to do it on our terms. Our terms are to pound it inside and get back and play great defense.”

With Devonte Anderson measuring 6’5″, Mirwaise Qader at 6’4″ and Xavier Lane at 6’3″, the Oilers ran high-post plays most of the afternoon.

But in the end Richmond’s height couldn’t overcome Mt. Eden’s jockeying for rebounds. Nor could they contain 5’10” sharpshooter Noel Briones. Briones torched the Oilers for 25 points.

Mukama Madoshi led all Richmond scorers with 19 points.

After the game Collins reassured his players they’re no longer a team to be taken lightly. “We battled the whole way,” he told his players in their cold locker room. “Much more improvement. We’re going to have a fine season. Just hang with it.”

Richmond’s next game is Wednesday at Alhambra High School in Martinez. Tip off is at 7:00 p.m.

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