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Richardson blossoms for Indian boys

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By Claude Lewis

Cantrell Richardson began the 2007-08 basketball season watching from the stands.

"I slipped on my grades and I was ineligible," admitted the Chiefland High junior.

Richardson worked harder in the classroom to get his math and history marks up. By Christmas Tournament time, he was added on to the varsity roster.

At first, Richardson showed flashes of brilliance, but it would take some time for consistency to come around.

Indian coach Mark Lundy sent him to the locker room in the first half of the home game against Fort White for not paying attention during a timeout.

Since then, Richardson's game has shot up the charts like a hit record.

The 6-foot, 1-inch left wing has been a warrior on both ends of the court. On offense, he can pop the three or cut like a knife to the hoop. Despite his thin frame, Richardson is not afraid to follow his shot and mix it up inside. His vertical jump is excellent.

"I think my three-pointers are my strength," he said. "I like the rebounding part, too."

In last Thursday's game against Interlachen, Richardson rang up 19 points in just over two quarters of playing time.

The game before against Lafayette County, Richardson scorched the net for 21 points.

Richardson will be a key cog in Lundy's 2008-09 plans. Only two seniors graduate.

With Richardson, Eugene Carter, Tommy Sheffield, Stephen Davis, Reggue McClendon, Marquis Jackson, Josh Wasson, John Manalastas plus the cream of the junior varsity crop coming up, Chiefland is looking for a strong season.

Richardson plans to keep improving.

"I need to work on my conditioning and ballhandling," Richardson said.

Richardson has had to deal with adversity in the past.

"I was cut in seventh grade," remembered Richardson on his Chiefland Middle School days.

He worked hard to develop his hoop skills.

Then this year, he realized that to play, you have to do your homework, too.

Hopefully, he'll be doing that both on and off the court.