JACKSONVILLE – The Orange Park High Lady Raiders played Florida high school powerhouse Ribault even for 27 minutes but ran out steam in the final five minutes losing 59-47 in a game that was …
JACKSONVILLE – The Orange Park High Lady Raiders played Florida high school powerhouse Ribault even for 27 minutes but ran out steam in the final five minutes losing 59-47 in a game that was much closer than the final score.
“I thought we played really well for three and a half quarters against a storied Ribault basketball program in our first true hostile road environment” said Raider head coach Fred Cole.
The Lady Raiders came into the contest on an 11 game win streak and an overall record of 12-1 looking to knock off one of the best teams in the state of Florida. The Lady Raiders came out firing taking a quick 8-2 lead off the offense of Sha’Mia Capers and the deep shooting of guard Yoly Rosado. The defense was intense as well as the Raiders were able to contain a Ribault front line with three players at or above six feet tall. Guards Maci Faucett and Nayeli Williams both played their best defensive games of the season helping double the Trojans skilled post players. As both teams settled in it was a classic heavyweight fight with both teams taking and receiving each other’s best punches. The teams battled back and fourth through the first half trading three pointers with point guard Nayeli Williams hitting two critical late shots keeping Orange Park close only trailing 32-31 at halftime.
The second half started well offensively for the Raiders with Capers scoring two three plays from the low post early in the third quarter.
“She has been our best overall player the last few weeks. She can get to the basket, get and 1’s, rebound, and she typically has to guard the best player on the other team. She does it all for us” said Cole.
The teams played even to 45 points apiece at the 4:48 mark of the fourth quarter until the Raiders began to feel the fatigue and struggled offensively and most critically keeping Ribault off the offensive boards. The Raiders man to man helping style defense stifled and confused the Lady Trojans as they struggled to get the ball into the low post to their power forwards. Orange Park was able to contest the Trojans outside shots but were unable to get consistent rebounding in the final five minutes of play.
At one point, the Trojans got five offensive rebounds in a row that resulted in an open layup and taking over 90 seconds off the game clock.
“Fatigue was definitely a factor. We run alot in practice but it is tough when they platoon in five players at a time. We were only able to play six players tonight due to some things that happened within our program. It certainly wears you down and it hurt us late in the game” said Cole. The Trojans didn’t let up outscoring Orange Park 14-0 in the final 4:48 to secure a 59-45 win.