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Kirk Puts Exclamation on Senior Night



Gage Kirk pulls up for a shot in Richland’s recent game at Culleoka. Kirk was honored as the lone senior Raider Tuesday as Culleoka played at Richland. Jennifer Hawkins / Pulaski Citizen

Gage Kirk punctuated his senior night and a Raider victory over Culleoka with a one-handed slam as the Raiders were victorious 69-54 Tuesday at Dwight Clark Gymnasium. 


Kirk was honored as the team’s lone senior, but it is hard to overstate just how much he has meant to the program over the years, serving as potentially the team’s best true post in a decade. 


“This team has meant a lot to me over the years, from lifelong friendships to lifelong memories,” Kirk said. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to be a part of this program. Coach (Jason) Loveless has been the best coach I’ve ever played for and has taught me more than I can even put into words. Tonight was the atmosphere we hope to have every night. With a crowd like we had tonight, it’s hard not to play to our full and utmost potential.”


Richland wreaked havoc on the Warriors in the first half, building a 33-11 lead at the break in a game that felt hopeless at times for visiting Culleoka.


Luke Jones poured in 10 points in the first quarter, and the Raiders had a well-rounded scoring effort with four players reaching double figures. 


However, the Warriors changed their game plan in the second, dialing up the physical intensity on both ends. As a result, the second half saw multiple hard fouls, a technical, and maybe even a little trash talk between the two clubs.


Eli Hardison lit up the scoresheet in the second half, scoring 19 of his game-high 21 after the break including six 3-pointers.


But despite some careless turnovers, the Raiders stayed the course with guards Carter Edwards and Andrew Huff taking on the scoring load in the second half. While Culleoka continued to foul even down to the final 10 seconds, Richland calmly knocked down its free throws and never let the lead slip within single digits. 


Edwards led RHS with 17 followed by 14 from Kirk. Huff scored 13, and Jones finished with 10. Wil Shirey scored six. Jameson Andrews added five. Kade McCormack and Jace Carter Miller scored two each. 


Bob Holt joined Hardison (21) in double figures with 12 points. 


Culleoka: 54
Richland: 69
C:  5  11 27 54
R: 19 33 48 69
Culleoka (54): Eli Hardison – 21, Bob Holt – 12, Dalton Owens – 9, Jeffrey Pearce – 6, Kasen Hoffman – 3, Isaac Hargrove – 2, Beckham Faulkner – 1; Richland (69): Carter Edwards – 17, Gage Kirk – 14, Andrew Huff – 13, Luke Jones – 10, Wil Shirey – 6, Jameson Andrews – 5, Kade McCormack – 2, Jace Carter Miller – 2
3-pointers
Culleoka (10): Eli Hardison – 6, Dalton Owens – 2, Kasen Hoffman – 1, Jeffrey Pearce – 1
Richland (7): Carter Edwards – 3, Luke Jones – 2, Andrew Huff – 1, Jameson Andrews – 1

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