It didn’t look like a win was going to be within reach for Navarre’s boys basketball team Saturday night. The Raiders trailed rival Gulf Breeze by nine heading into the fourth quarter.
But momentum shifted in a big way in the fourth. Navarre hit big shots, got the stops it needed on defense and rode that effort to a 62-54 victory over the Dolphins.
Navarre outscored Gulf Breeze 21-4 in the final quarter as it pushed its record to 4-5 on the season.
“I was proud of us for staying with it,” Navarre head coach Taf Bentley said. “I told the guys I trust them and that we’re going to win this game as a team. It was a great team win.”
The Raiders opened the fourth on an 8-0 run. Marcus Richardson started it with a layup before Juwan Bracey drove into the lane and scored. He was fouled on the shot and hit the ensuing free throw to cut the Gulf Breeze lead to 50-46.
Two free throws by Quinton Wylie cut the lead to two and a 3-pointer by Demetre Page gave the Raiders the lead at 51-50 with 3:44 to play.
The cheers from the fans grew louder at that point and their excitement went up another notch when Richardson threw down a dunk. He was fouled on the jam and hit the free throw as the Raiders surged in front 54-52 with 2:37 left.
Navarre led the rest of the way and sealed the deal on six-consecutive free throws by Bracey.
“Gulf Breeze did a good job in the first three quarters of getting into the paint and switching up defenses on us,” Bentley said. “We were finally able to hit some big shots and get stops in the fourth quarter. We stuck with our game plan and we were able to come out on top.”
Read the full story in the Dec. 17 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.