Pittsburg seniors FeDor Lomax and Stefon Rich served as the bedrock foundation of the Dragon interior attack their junior and senior seasons.
Thus, it was only appropriate that Lomax and Rich signed together on the dotted line Wednesday afternoon to play college basketball at the next level.
Rich signed with the perennially successful Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens and Lomax inked with the Fort Scott CC Greyhounds.
“Getting a scholarship is a big deal,” Pittsburg head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “Both these guys are joined by family members today and I want to take a chance to congratulate the players and their families on the hard work and the sacrifice they’ve made to put themselves in this position to have a chance to continue their education and to continue their playing careers.”
Most high school players are lucky to reach a double-double on any given night. Lomax, a two-year starter, made double-doubles an average night.
The very athletic senior forward averaged 13.1 points, 10.8 rebounds. With his long arms, quick jumping ability and sprightly energy, Lomax often proved he could go anywhere for a rebound.
“In the last two years as a starter, FeDor has accumulated over 400 rebounds in our games,” Roelfs said. “A lot to be said for that. FeDor has worked very hard at his game in our program, has been a very good leader in our program and I’m very proud of his accomplishments.”
Some of his big nights included 10 points and 12 rebounds against Labette County, 12 points and 13 rebounds against Coffeyville and 18 points, 10 rebounds against Columbus on Homecoming when seniors Rich, Lomax and Tanner Ellis scored 19, 18 and 17, respectively.
Lomax averaged 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game, plus he finished 51 percent shooting from the field.
The second-tallest player in the Southeast Kansas League at 6-foot-8, Rich posed defensive and offensive challenges for any opponent.
“Stefon Rich came to us two years ago from Joplin and made an immediate impact on our program and has done many, many good things,” Roelfs said. “He was another two-year letterman in our program. In his two years at the varsity level, he fell just short of 100 blocked shots, which doesn’t happen a whole lot at the high school level. Another impressive stat for Stefon.”
Rich finished his senior year averaging 13.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.8 blocks per game with shooting percentages of 62 from the field and 58 at the line. He scored a career-high 28 points against Paola in the Burlington Invitational and had games of 19 against Columbus, 17 against Fort Scott, Parsons and Girard, 16 against Coffeyville and 14 against Neosho.
The Red Ravens finished their recent season 32-3 (highlighted by a 25-game winning streak from November through March) with a 79-47 loss to East Georgia in the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament. Head coach Jay Herkelman ended the season with 487 career wins.
Page 2 of 2 - “Coffeyville has a great program,” Rich said. “I’ll be going to a good school for a good education.”
The Greyhounds finished 14-18 with a 10-3 record at Arnold Arena.
“They have a good coach (Michael Cook) and I heard they were looking at me junior year,” Lomax said. “They got in touch with me my senior year. It’s a good opportunity and I hope to make the best of it.”
With Coffeyville and Fort Scott in the same conference (Jayhawk), it’s quite possible Rich and Lomax will run into another inside-the-paint.
“It’s always fun when you to get to see a former teammate, either if you’re playing against him or with him,” Lomax said. “It’s going to be fun.”
When asked how it feels to continue playing basketball, Lomax’s answer may speak for the average college recruit.
“Basketball is my favorite sport,” Lomax said. “I love it and it’s just a honor to be able to play at the next level. I’m at a loss for words. I’m real excited.”