For at least the first half of Navarre’s District 1-7A opener against Niceville Dec. 15, the Raiders looked poised to nail down a big win.
They only trailed by six at halftime but the final two quarters belonged to the Eagles. They hit big-time shots from the outside and made it nearly impossible for the Raiders to score, leaving Navarre on the short end of a 54-35 loss at home.
The Raiders, coming in riding the high of a big win against rival Gulf Breeze over the weekend, dropped to 4-6 on the season.
“Niceville has a great team,” Navarre head coach Taf Bentley said. “They did a good job of taking us out of what we wanted to do. They are big and quick and made it difficult for us to score.”
Yet, the Raiders came in ready for the challenge, overcoming a 5-0 deficit early to only trail 8-5 at the end of one quarter.
Demetre Page nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 8-8 and the Raiders were only down 16-15 with 46 seconds to go after a free throw by Quinton Wylie.
But three turnovers led to three easy baskets for the Eagles, who rode into halftime with a 22-16 lead.
“Right before the half we threw it to them a few times and they were able to score off layups,” Bentley said. “They came out in the second half and hit a couple of big shots in a row and it was like we had a huge mountain to overcome. We switched defenses, but they were still able to make shots.”
Read the full story in the Dec. 24 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.