The Raiders four-game win streak was snapped by a fourth-quarter comeback by Bridgeport on the Jan. 22. Then the Raiders dropped to second-place Manson last Friday, allowing the Trojans to tie with them atop of the Central Washington North standings.
Against Bridgeport, the Raiders had diffculty in the first quarter getting the offense going as Bridgeport came away with the lead going into the second, 10-5. The Raiders came back into the game with a solid second quarter, scoring 16 points and taking the lead on a Justus DeWinkler layin for a halftime lead, 21- 16.
Lake Roosevelt put together a solid third quarter, pushing the lead to a high of 17 points and ending the quarter at LR 39-Bridgeport 25.
In the fourth, the winds shifted and the Mustangs came alive as Raider turnovers turned into quick points for the Mustangs in ragged offensive play and rushed decisions.
With only 32 seconds left, the Raiders found their lead cut to only one point. In just 14 seconds, off a three-shot foul, the Mustangs took a one-point lead and got the ball back.
Their lead had grown to three when Chance Garvin got fouled with eight seconds left and went to the line. Both shots missed, and the Mustangs were fouled on an inbound pass.
The Mustangs called timeout and then threw the ball down court. It was taken away and the Raiders called timeout. With two seconds left, the pass was inbounded and DeWinkler threw the ball up from beyond half court. The shot missed, and the Mustangs won 48-45.
The Raiders gave up 23 points during the fourth quarter while scoring only six themselves.
Friday’s game became even more important as a loss would put the Trojans of Manson tied for first in the North with the Raiders.
Drew Saxon and Austin Rosenbaum did not start against the Trojans. Jacob Palmer scored five of LR’s seven first-quarter points as the Raiders fell behind early 16-7.
LR fouled so much that the Trojans were going to the line every time at the start of the second quarter. The offense came back online, but Manson’s big forward, hot-handed wing, and swift-footed point guard kept them ahead at the half 44-21. After coming out late from the locker room, the Raiders were checked by the Trojans at every turn in the third quarter, but they did not give up and closed to within 20 points of the Trojans 56-39.
In a physical fourth quarter, Manson’s point guard taunted Theron Nault, allowing the ball to roll on the floor between his legs like a soccer ball and backing into Nault challenging him to foul. Not long after this, Nault was hit with a soccer style body tackle and taken to the floor.
Drew Saxon entered the game with only five minutes left to try and give the Raiders a jolt of offense.
In the end, Manson’s improved play got the better of the Raiders in the Trojan 67-50 win.
With only four games left before district games, and the seeding picture in the North becoming muddled, the Raiders are in a need-to-win situation.
Tomorrow they travel to Liberty Bell for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Mt. Lions who are tied for third with Bridgeport. Then LR hosts South-leading Riverside Christian Saturday at 6 p.m. at Gailord Nelson Gym.
Central Washington 2B North
LR 6-10 4-3
Manson 10-5 4-2
Bridgeport 8-7 3-3
Liberty Bell 8-8 3-4
Oroville 4-11 1-5
Nault 7, Rosenbaum 0, Garvin 12, Picard 0, DeWinkler 5, Saxon 12, Piccolo 5, Nicholson 4, Palmer 0, Campobasso 0
Nault 4, Rosenbaum 2, Garvin 9, Picard 0, DeWinkler 4, Saxon 5, Piccolo 4, Nicholson 13, Palmer 5, Campobasso 0