Less than a week after learning Jackie Coyne had stepped down unexpectedly as the head coach, Navarre’s girls basketball team went out last Monday night and put forth every ounce of effort it had in a 39-36 loss to county rival Pace.
The Raiders stayed right with the Patriots throughout the night, trailing just 38-36 after a layup by Skye Buckner with less than a minute to play. But Pace managed to hang on for the win, surviving Navarre’s valiant effort.
Chris Raggard is handling the head coaching duties for the Raiders for the time being and is pleased with how his team has dealt with the adversity in front of it.
“They responded tremendously. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them,” Raggard said. “We had no idea (coach Coyne) was going to leave, but the girls have battled and they did an excellent job again tonight.”
Navarre is 1-2 on the season and is coming off a year where it won a district title for the first time in program history. But this Raiders team is young, with only two seniors on the roster, and nothing is expected to come easy.
But a team doesn’t need experience to play hard and the Raiders did just that, closing within two at halftime at 18-16 after trailing 14-8 early in the second quarter.
Ty Stringfield was a shining example of that effort, scoring all 16 points in the first half. Her two jumpers and free throw trimmed Pace’s lead to 16-14 with 2:14 to go in the half.
The Raiders tied the game at 18-18 early in the second half on a shot in the lane by Buckner and the score was tied at 20-20 with 5:02 to play in the third.
Read more in the Dec. 8 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.