If there is one thing Navarre’s girls basketball team brings to the gym every night it’s their undeniable will to battle until the end.
The Raiders were on the cusp of a big win over their bitter rival last Monday night, tied with Gulf Breeze at 42-42 with just over a minute to play after Killian Casey nailed a free throw to tie the score.
Turnovers down the stretch from the defensive pressure applied by the Dolphins, though, proved to be too much for the Raiders to handle in a 48-44 loss in Gulf Breeze.
Yet, even in the wake of Navarre’s fourth consecutive loss, interim head coach Chris Raggard was pleased with his team’s effort.
“Both teams played a great game. We just came up a little short in the end,” Raggard said. “I’m proud of the effort my girls gave me. The entire team did a great job. I couldn’t ask for any more heart, effort and hustle. The girls gave me everything they had.”
Ty Stringfield played a pivotal role in keeping the Raiders in the game. The senior poured in 18 points behind her ability to attack the basket and either score off layups or pullup for short jumpers.
“Ty is really coming and really played well the last few weeks,” Raggard said. “She scored 22 against Pace and 16 against Crestview. She is putting in the work and effort and it’s paying off.”
Navarre struggled to get on track early and found itself down 15-6 after one quarter.
The Raiders played much better in the second, creating opportunities that allowed them to climb back into the game.
A layup by Arliegh East, a shot by Stringfield and two free throws by Casey trimmed the Dolphins’ lead to 21-17 at halftime.
Read more in the Dec. 15 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.