Teamwork and defense fuel early-season success for Raiders

Taf Bentley had his tablet in his hands after Navarre’s 59-24 win over Jay Monday night and was looking over the stats.

Three players in double figures stood out to him and the balance he saw from his team is what he hopes to continue to see as this boys basketball season continues for the Raiders.

“It’s great when you can have three guys score in double figures,” Bentley said. “I saw a lot of sharing of the ball and when you have a good assist-turnover ratio, you win games. It’s great to see these guys playing hard and playing for each other.”

Dominic Riddle paved the way with 14 points while Matt Harshany, the transfer from Pace, poured in 13 points. Tyrese Harvey nearly came through with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the win over the Royals.

“Tyrese had a great game,” Bentley said. “I’m not sure there is a guy playing harder in the entire Panhandle than he is. We are proud to have him on our team. Dominic and Matt have been stepping up, too, for us. We’re just getting a great team effort.”

Navarre is also riding a wave of momentum. Coming off a season where they reached the regional tourney for the first time in more than a decade, the Raiders are unbeaten through their first three games.

Against Jay, Navarre opened up an 11-2 lead behind five quick points by Harshany and an electrifying dunk by Harvey but the Royals battled back and only trailed 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Aaron Hall stretched the advantage to 23-12 and a trey by Harvey pushed the lead to 26-12 with just over four minutes to go in the half.

Navarre led 33-17 at halftime and one of the biggest reasons for its success was the effort the Raiders put forth on defense.

Read more in the Dec. 1 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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