The high point in the boys varsity basketball regular season—the championship game would come later—happened early, against the perennial power house Phillips Exeter Academy.
The two schools had been dueling back and forth all game. First the Williston Northampton boys took the lead, then Exeter came back in the second half.
“Now they’re up 10 on us and it’s like four minutes to go,” recalls Coach Michael Shelton. “As a coach, you’re like, ‘Man, this is crunch time.’”
A three-point shot by Chris Hudson tied the game 66-66. With 15 seconds left, the ball went out of bounds and Coach Shelton called in Ryan Richmond ’15.
“We call Ryan’s number and he just comes off and it’s just like how you see on TV,” said Coach Shelton. “He takes a couple of dribbles, then 18 feet…right down the middle of the key. He just drains it.”
Such was the strength of Williston’s point guard, who Coach Shelton praised for being able to handle pressure, knock down the big shots, and be a leader, even after disappointing games.
“He is the ultimate competitor,” Coach Shelton said. “No moment was too big for him.”
In March, after a 23-3 record, Williston would edge rival Suffield Academy by 51-48 to take the NEPSAC Class A Championship game. Helping lead the charge was Mr. Richmond, who was named Tournament MVP.
This week, Mr. Richmond celebrated another big moment when he signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
He said he chose Bentley not only for its great basketball legacy, but prestige in the field of business.
“I feel that it offered me the most promising future,” he wrote in an email, adding “It’s right beside Boston, which reminds me of home.”
The Bentley Falcons are a Division II team and had a 15-12 overall record from last season. Since the team lacks what Mr. Richardson describes as a “primary ball handler,” he noted that he would be able to make an impact quickly at the school.
Mr. Richmond also said head coach Joe Lawson and his assistant Jay Fremeau were another plus.
“The coaching staff is great,” Mr. Richmond noted. “They support their players and demand the most of them, which will only help me develop as a basketball player and man.”