TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Most coaches would be ecstatic with a blowout win, but coach Eli Bryant hold his Rickards basketball team to a higher standard.
The Raiders ran away with the game in the second half closing out an 83-57 rout of Chiles, however the win still left Bryant wanting more out of his team. “The game was sloppy a lot of times,” said Bryant, who’s in his 27th year at Rickards. “We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds there in the first quarter, which kept the game close. We have to work on our defensive rebounding; can’t give up second chance shots.”
Rickards held a 12-11 lead to end the first quarter after failing to score in the final 5:30 of the period. Then the Raiders ratcheted up the pressure, forcing nine turnovers in the second quarter. Those led to easy baskets for the Raiders as they outscored Chiles 28-13 in the quarter and grabbed a 40-24 lead at halftime.
It was all smooth sailing from there. Rickards finished the game shooting 46.8% from the floor, and their defense limited the Timberwolves to just six three-pointers.
Maurice Howard led all scorers with 24 points, and Cameron Enzor added another 14 for the Raiders.
Chiles came into the game knowing they had to get hot from behind the arc to keep pace, but the Timberwolves struggled to find breathing room all night. Credit that to the Rickards defensive pressure that forced 22 turnovers, and Timberwolves star guard Brett Easterling was limited to 10 points.
“They pressed us from the first minute to the last minute,” Chiles coach John Langlois said. “We had some turnovers, but we hurt them a little bit at times too. They got the better of us on that, but they’re a very good basketball team.”
The press had Chiles scrambling for much of the night, but when the press was broken the Raiders failed to get back into their half-court defense.
“We need to work on our defense and keeping the ball out of the lane,” Bryant said. “We have to make them shoot jump shots. They were getting too many layups and shots in the paint.”
Chiles goes on to play their third game in three nights against NFC at home Thursday night. Rickards will play at Leon Friday night at 7pm.