Leads shifted hands several times. There were even a few ties.
But ultimately, Navarre’s boys basketball team couldn’t get the stops it needed down the stretch in a 67-57 loss to Choctaw last Thursday night.
Sure the scoreboard didn’t flash the result the Raiders had hoped for against their rival from neighboring Okaloosa County, but head coach Taf Bentley was proud of the effort his team put forth.
“I told the guys I thought we competed and worked our butts off. That was maybe the best game we’ve played all season. Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t indicate that, but Choctaw is a great team and have a program we want to emulate.”
Navarre trailed by as many as eight at one point in the second half but closed the gap to 52-49 with 4:25 to play when Matt Harshany nailed three free throws.
Fans on both sides of the gym chanted and cheered but the Raiders were unable to stop the Indians from pulling away for the win.
“We have to do a better job on defense for sure,” Bentley said. “Right now we’ve had more games than practices but we have the right guys on this team. I believe in them and they will work hard to get better as a team.”
Dominic Riddle paved the way for the Raiders, pouring in 19 points. Tyrese Harvey scored 16 points and Harshany finished with 14. Seth Fletcher added six points.
“We have a lot of guys that can step up and contribute,” Bentley said. “We have a team that is going to keep moving forward and that will keep working hard.”
Read more in the Dec. 8 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.