Taf Bentley

Raiders stumble in district showdown with Aggies

Raiders stumble in district showdown with Aggies

Navarre didn’t make enough shots and Tate just didn’t miss. That is what Thursday night’s District 1-8A battle at Fryman Gymnasium came down to between the Raiders and Aggies. In a showdown with the No. 1 seed in the district tournament on the line, Navarre fell 66-46. “I felt like Tate hit great shots,” Navarre […]

Twice as Nice! Raiders complete regular-season sweep of Eagles

Twice as Nice! Raiders complete regular-season sweep of Eagles

Navarre made program history Friday night in a 50-39 win over Niceville, sweeping the Eagles in the regular-season series for the first time. Matt Harshany scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Andre Smith added 11, helping Navarre improve to 10-7 overall and 4-1 in District 1-8A. “It’s something we were hoping to do […]

Harshany’s 51 not enough in OT loss to Aggies

Harshany’s 51 not enough in OT loss to Aggies

Navarre boys basketball coach Taf Bentley told his team it needed three stops down the stretch to survive a crucial District 1-8A showdown with Tate Friday night. The Raiders got two. That led to overtime, where an opportunity was missed for Navarre to stay unbeaten in district play. The Raiders fell 77-74 to the Aggies […]

School district clears Bentley of wrongdoing

School district clears Bentley of wrongdoing

Navarre boys basketball coach Taf Bentley has been cleared by school district officials of any wrongdoing of alleged sexual misconduct with a student. According to a press release issued by Santa Rosa County School District, an investigation by the district was conducted this week after an allegation was made of inappropriate contact between a student […]

Coach Bentley under investigation

Coach Bentley under investigation

Navarre High School boys basketball coach Taf Bentley is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct. Santa Rosa County Schools Assistant Superintendent Conni Carnley, who is in charge of human resources, could not provide details on what the investigation involves or how long it will take, but did say Bentley is on paid leave at the […]

Bentley reaches coaching milestone

Bentley reaches coaching milestone

The interview was just about over and then Navarre head boys basketball coach Taf Bentley remembered something pretty significant. “Oh, 100 wins,” Bentley said. The win total is in reference to the milestone he reached Tuesday night after Navarre’s 80-42 dismantling of Escambia. It was the 100th win of Bentley’s career at the school. This […]

Harshany lights up scoreboard in win over Panthers

Harshany lights up scoreboard in win over Panthers

Matt Harshany had more points than Milton did as a team in the first half of Tuesday’s season opener. Navarre’s senior point guard is just that good and he ended up with 37 in the Raiders’ 59-49 win over the Panthers at home. Harshany finished the first half with 23 of the Raiders’ 29 points. […]

Raiders lay foundation for success during summer hoops season

Raiders lay foundation for success during summer hoops season

An industrial fan set up in a doorway to the gym blows air on a muggy summer afternoon. With the air conditioning not functioning properly in the gym, the somewhat cool air from the fan is the only relief from the heat for the players warming up before their game and the handful of fans […]

Harshany on radar of college recruiters as he gears up for senior season at Navarre

Harshany on radar of college recruiters as he gears up for senior season at Navarre

He once took a Chinese course at the University of West Florida. His ACT score is a 33. The military academies — Navy, Army, Air Force — along with Ivy League schools Princeton and Yale are showing interest in him. Then there is Duke. It’s willing to throw an academic scholarship offer Matt Harshany’s way. […]

Raiders fall in district title game

Raiders fall in district title game

Navarre’s boys basketball team went into halftime with a two-point lead over Niceville in the District 1-8A championship game Friday night. Head coach Taf Bentley knew the advantage wasn’t safe. “I felt like they were going to come out and be really strong, and I was right,” Bentley said. Strong might be an understatement. Trey […]

Raiders survive tourney showdown with Dolphins

Raiders survive tourney showdown with Dolphins

As each shot was launched up, including two from beyond the arc by Gulf Breeze’s Luke McHenry, in the final frantic seconds of a riveting District 1-8A tournament semifinal showdown Tuesday night, Navarre head coach Taf Bentley could only hope his Raiders would find a way to hang on and extend their season. Bentley, in […]

Late surge not enough to propel Raiders to victory

Late surge not enough to propel Raiders to victory

He put on a show in the fourth quarter Thursday night. Nineteen points in all, a head-turning effort fueled by four 3-pointers that willed the Navarre boys basketball team back into its game against Niceville in a crucial District 1-8A showdown. Yet, as good as Matt Harshany was for the Raiders in the final quarter […]

Raiders stay in hunt for district title

Raiders stay in hunt for district title

This is the time of the year where teams either show they have the ability to be a title contender or fade away as a team that doesn’t quite have what it takes to rise up. Navarre’s boys basketball team has no intentions of fading away and they put their potential to contend for a […]

Shootout experience valuable to Raiders

Shootout experience valuable to Raiders

As he hung around outside the locker room Friday night, Navarre head coach Taf Bentley talked about the speech he made to his team after its 60-44 loss to Washington in the third-place game of the Northwest Florida Shootout at Choctaw. His team had just lost its second consecutive game, falling to 8-7 in a […]

Raiders gain valuable experience at shootout

Raiders gain valuable experience at shootout

Taf Bentley would have loved to see his Navarre boys basketball team knock off Crestview Saturday night in the final game of the Johnny Huston’s Shootout. It didn’t happen. The Raiders fell 51-44 to the Bulldogs one night after knocking off West Florida Tech 57-44 in their shootout opener. Yet, the reason this event was […]

Raiders show a lot of heart in loss to Indians

Raiders show a lot of heart in loss to Indians

Leads shifted hands several times. There were even a few ties. But ultimately, Navarre’s boys basketball team couldn’t get the stops it needed down the stretch in a 67-57 loss to Choctaw last Thursday night. Sure the scoreboard didn’t flash the result the Raiders had hoped for against their rival from neighboring Okaloosa County, but […]

Teamwork and defense fuel early-season success for Raiders

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 seek to forge identity, contend for district crown

Raiders seek to forge identity, contend for district crown

Taf Bentley could spend all day talking about everything last year’s Navarre boys basketball team accomplished. The fourth-year head boys basketball coach of the Raiders could point to the school-record 17 wins, the district runner-up finish and the first trip to the regional in more than a decade. Accomplishments, however, don’t carry over into the […]

Raiders to host hoops shootout in December

Raiders to host hoops shootout in December

Navarre boys basketball coach Taf Bentley has put together a tournament featuring some of the best teams in the area. The Navarre Shootout is scheduled to take place Dec. 16-17, with the Raiders closing out day one with an 8 p.m. showdown against West Florida Tech. Navarre plays Crestview the following night to cap the two-day […]

Regional loss doesn’t overshadow successful season

Regional loss doesn’t overshadow successful season

The toughest thing for Navarre head basketball coach Taf Bentley to deal with Thursday night in Tallahassee wasn’t that his Raiders were eliminated from postseason play by Lincoln, it’s that the 2015-16 season is over. Navarre had a season to remember, winning seven more games than it did a year ago and playing in the […]

Navarre battles back for first district win

Navarre battles back for first district win

Tre Baker was determined to play more aggressive in Friday night’s District 1-7A game against Tate. The Navarre senior accomplished his mission. Baker lit up the scoreboard for 19 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds as the Raiders knocked off the Aggies 65-56 to improve to 10-7 overall and to 1-1 in the district. “I […]

Raiders counting on senior leadership to fuel success

Raiders counting on senior leadership to fuel success

Navarre boys basketball coach Taf Bentley is excited about the season ahead.  Part of that excitement stems from the fact that he has an experienced group of players, particularly the seven seniors on the roster. “I’m excited about what those guys bring to the table,” Bentley said. “It’s a good group of kids who work […]