Russia’s Braylon Cordonnier is fouled while covered by Richmond Heights’ De’Erick Barber and Dorian Jones during a Division IV state semifinal on Friday at University of Dayton Arena. The Raiders lost 66-51 and finish 25-4 overall.

Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

DAYTON — Russia played undefeated Richmond Heights close for three quarters in a Division IV state semifinal on Friday but couldn’t keep up late.

The Spartans trailed most of the first three quarters but dominated the last 13 minutes and beat Russia 66-51 at University of Dayton Arena. They advance to face Convoy Crestview in a state semifinal on Sunday afternoon.

Hayden Quinter made a layup with 1:39 left in the third to give Russia a 37-35 lead, and the teams exchanged free throws to a 38-36 score. But the Spartans (28-0) scored five points in the last 30 seconds of the third and outscored the Raiders 25-13 in the fourth quarter to pull away.

“We knew we could play with them coming in,” Russia junior guard Hayden Quinter said. “Everybody in the community believed in us. The defense we play, we knew we could handle anybody in the state. We just had to get out there, play like dogs. We did. They hit some late 3s that were big, and we just couldn’t come back from that.”

Demarris Winters Jr. hit a 3 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter to give Richmond Heights, which was the top-ranked team in D-IV state Associated Press polls all season, a 39-38 lead. Russia turned the ball over 12 seconds later, and Dorian Jones made a dunk with 11 seconds left to give the squad a 41-38 lead heading into the fourth.

Jones made a 3 to open the fourth quarter and push the Spartans’ lead to six points. Russia later cut it to five, but Richmond Heights then scored seven straight (including another 3 by Jones) to take a 12-point lead by the midpoint of the quarter.

Russia committed 22 turnovers, which the Spartans scored 29 points off of. Russia scored four points off Richmond Heights’ nine turnovers.

“The turnovers didn’t help us at all,” Quinter said. “We knew coming in that we had to limit their transition points, and we really didn’t do that very well.”

Russia junior guard Brayden Monnin led the Raiders with 20 points and brought down four rebounds. Quinter scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds and five assists.

Richmond Heights shot 23 for 47 (48.9 percent) from the floor for the game after having shot 3 for 11 in the first quarter, during which Russia built a 13-8 lead. The Raiders shot 19 for 38 from the floor.

The Spartans made 13-of-16 free-throw attempts, including 8-of-9 in the fourth quarter.

The Spartans took an early 4-2 lead, but the Raiders dominated the rest of the first quarter and scored the first basket of the second to take a 15-8 lead. Russia was able to work the ball inside and drove by defenders when penetrating.

The Raiders led 25-19 after two free throws by Felix Francis with 2:10 left, but Richmond Heights finished on an 8-0 run over the last two minutes. Winters Jr. made a 3, Braylen Salters made a layup after a turnover, and Jones made a 3 with 24 seconds left to cap off the run.

Russia scored 16 points in the paint in the first half and eight in the second half.

“I think we showed these guys about 15 (video) clips (on Richmond Heights),” Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier said. “If they watched anything else, it was completely on their own. We showed them 15 clips, created a game plan and said, ‘I’m not real sure how they guard. If you can get by somebody and can get down hill, you attack the rim.’

“We did that to the best of our ability tonight. Defensively, we just are who we are. We didn’t press a whole lot, like we had earlier in the year. But we’re not dummies. We did a couple things here and there and didn’t get hurt by it until late in the game when we had to really up the ante.

“I thought the kids executed the game plan to perfection. We had a couple balls not bounce our way there early in the fourth quarter, and they got a couple kick-out 3s from it. When they’re knocking down 3s and it goes from 3 to 9 like that, I had a feeling it would be pretty hard to come back from.”

Russia finishes 25-4 overall. The Raiders will lose four seniors to graduation: Zane Shappie, Xavier Phlipot, Ross Fiessinger and Colby Monnin.

“I just told those guys they’re fantastic,” Cordonnier said. “They bought into the dog mentality and they were leaders of it and they took us through the season. They kept things together for the entire team throughout the season. They were emotional leaders, just as they were vocal leaders.”

The Raiders are set to return most of their roster, including Quinter and Monnin.

“We’ve got a lot of good pieces coming back,” Cordonnier said. “Hopefully we can add to our success from this year, but nothing’s guaranteed.”

It was the second state appearance for Russia; the Raiders’ first berth was in 2002, when it lost to Delphos St. John’s by 10 points in the D-IV state final.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.