Navarre battles back for first district win

Tre Baker was determined to play more aggressive in Friday night’s District 1-7A game against Tate.

The Navarre senior accomplished his mission.

Baker lit up the scoreboard for 19 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds as the Raiders knocked off the Aggies 65-56 to improve to 10-7 overall and to 1-1 in the district.

“I said to myself that I was going to be more in attack mode the rest of the season,” Baker said. “I just want to keep playing better every game.”

Navarre came in on a two-game losing streak but snapped as it rallied after trailing at the end of each of the first three quarters.

“I’m proud of the guys for the way they handled the adversity,” Navarre head coach Taf Bentley said. “Tate did a good job of penetrating and was tough to stop, but we were able to get inside and have success against their zone, which allowed us to score 28 points in the fourth quarter. We also shot free throws better.”

The Raiders went into the final quarter staring up at a 43-37 deficit but soon found itself in front when Baker drove inside for a layup and a 45-44 lead.

Navarre eventually pushed its lead to double digits when Marcus Richardson drew a foul as he threw down a dunk. His ensuing free throw put Navarre in front 61-51 with 56 seconds remaining.

“We came together as a team and played our game,” Baker said. “We focus on what we have to do to be successful and find a way to win.”

Balanced scoring helped propel the Raiders to the win on a night when they were down 13-9 at the end of the first quarter and were behind 20-16 at halftime.

Demetre Page scored 16 points, Dominic Riddle finished with 13 points and Richardson scored 10.

“We have a great group of players,” Bentley said. “Tre gave an amazing effort and Demetre hit some big shots. Marcus did a great job of cleaning up the boards. They played well as a team.”

Read the full story in the Jan. 14 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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