Win over Dolphins perfect medicine for Raiders

Colds, coughs, and even the flu plagued Navarre’s girls basketball team this week. Not ideal for the Raiders with a showdown against rival Gulf Breeze on tap.

But winning cures everything, even illness, and the Raiders felt rejuvenated after knocking off the Dolphins 57-55 in a thrilling District 1-8A battle Thursday night.

Killian Casey turned a steal into a layup with 53 seconds to play to put Navarre in front for good at 54-53.

A free throw by Casey and two shots from the line by Hailey Neely sealed the deal. A desperation shot by the Dolphins as time expired was way off the mark, setting off a celebration on the floor.

“For our team, to have the flu and having to bring up some JV girls, we really fought through adversity to get a big win,” first-year head coach Abby Fogg said. “We had others step up. It was good to see us play as a team.”

Casey paced the Raiders with 25 points, attacking the basket at will for layups and showing no hesitation in pulling up for jumpers to help Navarre (4-11, 1-3) snap a two-game losing streak and notch its first district win of the season.

The Raiders avenged the 59-44 loss to the Dolphins in December. Navarre tried to reschedule the game with Gulf Breeze because of the condition the team was in. The Dolphins said no.

Casey will tell you that it wasn’t easy having to go out and play.

“Half of us are congested and half of us can’t breathe. It was hard to keep up the energy,” Casey said. “It means the world to win this game.”

Down 21-12 before taking a 24-22 lead into halftime, Navarre led 47-41 late in the fourth. The Raiders trailed 53-51 with two minutes left. Arleigh East cut the lead to 53-52 before Casey’s steal gave Navarre the lead for good.

Natasha Elliott scored 11 points and East finished with eight. Kane added six.

Read the full article in the Jan. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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