Head to playoffs tonight
Following two successive wins in the last week of their regular season, the Raiders will head to the district playoffs tonight with solid win-loss record improved over last season's.
The Raiders ended the regular season on a two-game win streak to improve their record to 11-9 overall and 6-5 in league play.
With a four-game improvement over last season's 7-13 record, the LR team will play in Wenatchee in a loser-out game at 4 p.m.
"We are excited about our improvement from last year and making the playoffs, and knowing we could really make a strong run if we peak at the right time," Head Coach Matt Simpson said.
The Raiders started the week with a 54-40 win over the lowly Hornets in Oroville Feb. 11.
Oroville came out fighting in the first half and grabbed a lead.
"We were down at half, but made some simple adjustments ... and came out and made a big run to take and sustain the lead," Simpson said.
His adjustments worked. The Raiders defeated the Hornets and secured the number-two spot from the north in the district tournament.
When asked about the regular season finale, Simpson said the team needed to improve on rebounding and free-throw shooting.
"Those have been a struggle for us this year as we're not overly tall," he said, "so we need to use our strength and quickness to get both offensive and defensive rebounds."
And on free throws: "We have to knock those down in tight games to maintain or increase a lead or to stay close in the game."
With no seniors on the team, the "senior night" recognition before the game against Bridgeport Friday focused on cheerleaders Mikel Friedlander, Brandin Smith and Managers Kayla Donley, Akaycia Foster, and Brandon Powell.
Against Bridgeport on Valentine's Day, the Raiders jumped out quick to take an 18-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The electric Raider offense continued to gain another 21 points in the second quarter while holding the Mustangs to eight.
Bridgeport's Coach Dan Cavadini appeared livid with his team's flat performance.
At the end of the first half, Raider Chance Garvin hit a three, which was answered by a Mustang who hit a buzzer beater from NBA distance for a score of Raiders 39, Mustangs 14.
In the third quarter the Raiders let down their playing intensity and focus. The Mustangs outscored them 14-11, rebounding for second chances. At the end of three the Raiders led 50-28.
The Raiders pushed the lead back out to 31 points in the fourth, outscoring the Mustangs 16-9 to come away with a season-ending win, 66-37.
Chance Garvin and Jacob Palmer both played excellent games against the Mustangs and were essential to the big win.
Tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 19) the Raiders return to the district tournament after a year's absence. Tip off is at 4 p.m. at Wenatchee High School. LR takes on the winner of last night's Riverside Christian-Bridgeport game.
After this loser-out game the winner advances to Saturday's game against the loser of the District 5-6 championship game. If LR advances to Saturday's game, tip off would be at 11 a.m. at Wenatchee High School against either Liberty Bell or Kittitas for the last spot to regionals.
LRHS - Nault 2, Garvin 16, Rosenbaum 7, Palmer 7, Picard 0, K. Davis 0, Redstar 3, Nicholson 7, Louie 12
OHS – Sarmiento 19, C. Nigg 2, D. Nigg 3, Hughes 4, Mieirs 8, Lopez 4