Boys Varsity Basketball · Game-ending 30-6 run surges Raiders past Lancaster


LANCASTER — Coming off of its first win of 2018 at New Albany, the Raiders traveled to Lancaster for a rare Thursday evening division contest. The game was moved up a night in anticipation of the snow and ice that was forecasted in the area when the game was originally scheduled. With the Raiders only averaging 47.5 points in its last two games and finding themselves in a tight affair at the Gales, the Raiders were in need of a spark on offense in the second half.
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One drawn charge seemed to do the trick.
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Down two halfway into a back-and-forth 3rd quarter, the Raiders (8-4, 2-3) tied the game and senior guard Nesion Anderson drew a big offensive foul under the basket to quiet the loud Lancaster home crowd and halt their momentum. Senior forward Tre Williams and junior guard Ben Fort each led the way from there with 18 combined unanswered points to put the game out of reach for the Gales. The Raiders would outscore Lancaster a convincing 38-13 in the second half en route to a 66-44 road victory and their fourth win in five games.
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“It’s just giving yourself up for the team, not being selfish, and being in the right place at the right time,” Anderson said of the play. “We work on that all the time taking charges at practice, so I was just doing that to get the win.”
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It didn’t appear the Raiders would be in that position early on. Williams and Fort quickly scored the first five points of the game before Lancaster got on the scoreboard about halfway into the 1st quarter. After a basket by Malcolm Murphy, Lancaster would hit its first of what seemed like many shots from beyond the arc before the Raiders scored eight straight points each on different possessions and by different players. The Gales would hit another three-pointer as time expired in the 1st quarter, but the Raiders still led 13-8. Senior guard Jamiel Goliday came off the bench in the second quarter, quickly scoring off an offensive rebound with Malcolm Murphy also hitting from down low. Lancaster would hit another three, but Goliday would answer from downtown to give the Raiders a 20-13 lead just under halfway into the 2nd quarter.
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Then the Gales came to life. Lancaster would eventually tie the game at 23-23 with 1:20 left in the 2nd quarter, scoring on a handful of shots under the basket, and the Gales would hit two more shots from downtown each with under a minute left in the half to take a five point lead over Reynoldsburg. The Raiders would catch a break when senior guard Elijah Thurston was fouled while shooting a three with 0.6 seconds left in the half, and he would make two of his three ensuing free throws to cut Lancaster’s lead to 31-28 at the break.
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But the Gales ended the half on an 18-8 run, and the Raiders had to come out of the locker room swinging if it wanted to leave Lancaster with a win.
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“We talked about the importance of the 3rd quarter, and that if we didn’t seize control of the game before the 4th quarter, it was going to be very difficult for us to win,” Raiders head coach Scott Davis said of his message to his team at the break.
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The Raiders certainly seized control in that time frame and came out swinging, to say the least.
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Goilday would hit two shots from downtown to give him 11 points and tie the game with 5:56 left in the 3rd quarter. It was a good bounce-back performance for the senior, who did not score a three-pointer since early in the 1st quarter of the Raiders’ loss against division leader Pickerington North one week prior.
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“It felt great,” Goliday said of his performance after the game. “I got in the gym pretty early that day, so I was feeling pretty hot and shot it.”
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Both teams would alternate buckets on the next three possessions. With Reynoldsburg down 38-36, nobody in the Lancaster gym expected the lopsided run that was about to happen in the Raiders’ favor. Williams would hit from the post to tie the game with 4:10 left in the 3rd, and Anderson would draw the aforementioned charge that seemed to stop the Gales in their tracks given they only scored one three-pointer up to that point in the second half. The Raiders would deny Lancaster opportunities from downtown and dominate inside on defense, holding them scoreless from two-point land the rest of the game. On offense for the Raiders, Fort would score four straight points, Williams would dunk in transition, and then Fort would score from behind the arc on another fast break to put the Raiders up 47-38 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
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“We were just being more aggressive and weren’t letting [Lancaster] run their offense,” Williams would say after the game of the Raiders’ second half adjustments.
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He would start the 4th quarter strong: hitting a basket from down low, drawing a foul and hitting two free throws, and stealing a Gales pass at half court that led to a dunk in transition all on consecutive possessions. At this point, the Raiders led 54-38 with 6:18 to go and had scored 18 unanswered points in the last 5:32 going back to the previous quarter. Lancaster would break their scoring drought with a basket from downtown, and would add one more from behind the arc for their only 6 points of the 4th quarter. Fort would swish a jumper in transition to finish with 18 points, and Williams would get one more bucket to go with 2:07 left to give him his second consecutive 19-point outing as part of a nine-point period for the Raiders’ leading scorer.
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Danyel Harris and Nick Wallace would each score late to cap off what ended up being a game-ending 30-6 Reynoldsburg run to stun the Lancaster home crowd and give the Raiders a convincing victory, with three Raiders scoring in double figures.
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“In the first half, we didn’t play very well,” Davis would go on to say after the game. “We knew [Lancaster] had three guys that can really shoot the three, and they did very well. It’s a big part of their game. I think we came out and really answered the bell to start the second half, and we were able to take that away. And in doing so, [Lancaster] had a difficult time scoring, and we were able to get our break going and get out in transition. Our guys made some plays, and we were able to speed the game up a little bit by getting some stops.”
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“We have a lot of guys who are capable. There might be somebody different each night, and if we get a few guys in double figures, we’ll be tough to beat.”
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RAIDERS SCORING:
Tre Williams- 19 points*
Ben Fort- 18 points*
Jamiel Goliday- 11 points
Malcolm Murphy- 8 points*
Elijah Thurston- 5 points*
Nick Wallace- 3 points
Danyel Harris- 2 points
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*starter
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NEXT UP:
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The Raiders (8-4, 2-3) will return home for another division contest against Gahanna-Lincoln with a chance to even out its OCC-Ohio record. Reynoldsburg lost 67-59 at the Lions on December 8th and will look for a split in the regular-season series.
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Tip is at 7:30pm on Friday January 19th at the Summit Campus of Reynoldsburg High School.
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Follow @ReynoldsburgBB on Twitter for play-by-play updates during game days and all things pertaining to Reynoldsburg Raiders boys basketball.