Boys Basketball Underway

The Rider Raider basketball team has kicked off the 2009-2010 campaign with some highs and lows possessing a 3-3 record this year.
“Our goal this year is to play competitive championship basketball,” coach Mark Richardson said.
The team opened up the season against the visiting Frisco Liberty Red-Hawks with high hopes for the season with returning talent and experienced depth.
Unfortunately the Raiders lost 73-62, but the score can be deceiving. In this game it wasn’t the Red-Hawks who beat the Raiders, instead the Raiders beat themselves. Mistakes caused the Raiders to be down 21-10 at the end of the first quarter and they were unable to recover.
“I think the team had a lot of pre-game jitters,” Richardson said. “We were still missing part of the team due to injuries.”
Christian Sager led the scoring with 25 points while Landon Lane had 17 points, and Jared Brooks dropped in 10 points in the losing effort.
The Raiders would bounce back with a string of wins in the annual Fantasy of Lights tournament as they kicked off pool play of the tournament against the Pilot Point Bearcats.
The Raiders defeated the Bearcats 67-46, propelling the Raiders into a second round matchup with the Iowa Park Hawks. Rider easily defeated the Hawks, running away with the game 56-28 setting up a Saturday date against Fort Worth Arlington Heights in the semi-finals of the division 2 bracket of the tournament.
The Raiders got their first challenge of the tournament as they lost to the Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets 67-51. Later, Rider played in the third place game of the winners bracket against the Marble Falls Mustangs. The Raiders hung with the Mustangs for a while but were eventually outlasted as Marble Falls pulled away in the fourth for a 73-57 win and third place in the Boys division 2 bracket of the Fantasy of Lights Tournament.
“We made progress through the tournament,” Richardson said. “We just let the semi-final game slip away due to fatigue and miscues.”
After a couple of days of rest the Raiders were back in action on Tuesday, December 1st to take on the Lawton Eisenhower Eagles. Eisenhower, a common 6A force from Oklahoma, had previously beaten crosstown rival Old High by a score 79-51 in their season opener. The Raiders were able to pull out a victory against the Eagles by mostly their ability to crash the boards and come up with much needed rebounds. The Raiders were able to grab 32 rebounds to Lawton Ike’s 23, though the Raiders had some trouble early on as they had 20 turnovers with 8 coming in the first quarter alone.
Jared Brooks was the top scorer for the Raiders with 16 points, while Christian Sager had 14, Paul Mason had 10 points with 4 assists, and Landon Lane had 8 points and 5 rebounds.
“Whenever you play teams like Ike(Lawton Eisenhower) you have to be able to control the game,” Richardson said. “Usually whenever we beat a team like Ike we usually sneak into the lead late in the game that wasn’t the case this time.”
The Raiders look to compete for the district title with both returning and acquired young talent. District kicks off January 2nd against The Colony after a string of tournaments before Christmas break.