Raiders rally for win over Crusaders

Navarre’s boys basketball team went into halftime of its game against Pensacola Catholic Dec. 1 staring up at a six-point deficit and facing the possibility of losing its third-consecutive game.

The Raiders didn’t crumble under the pressure despite being down 22-16. Instead, they responded and rallied for 52-44 win over the Crusaders.

“We had a tough time shooting the ball in the first half, but our guys went into halftime and stayed together,” Navarre head coach Taf Bentley said. “We made some adjustments and we were able to make plays to come out on top.”

For the Raiders (3-3), the win provided a huge boost of confidence as it came against a team that has a history of success. The Crusaders (1-4) won 20 games a year ago.

“They have a great program and we want to be a team that has that kind of success,” Bentley said. “This was a big win for us.”

Demetre Page played a pivotal role in leading the Raiders to a victory. He had the hot hand all night, lighting up the scoreboard for 23 points. He knocked down five 3-pointers, including three in the third quarter as the Raiders surged ahead 34-29.

“Demetre shot the ball really well. His teammates set him up for great shots,” Bentley said. “On another night it might be someone else that steps up. The thing about us is that when one guy does well, we all do well. We are a team and I’m proud of the effort we gave tonight.”

Navarre, which fell behind by nine in the first half, stayed in control in the fourth quarter. Marcus Richardson opened the period with a tip-in and Dominic Riddle followed with a layup. Page knocked down a jumper and connected on two free throws as the Raiders went in front 42-31 with four minutes to play.

Read the full story in the Dec. 10 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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