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01/25/03 The other side of the coin - The game against Rush

It was a heavily anticipated game, a rematch between long-time rivals and two of this season's toughest competitors. Friday's boys' varsity basketball game in Henrietta was no surprise in that respect. What may be a bit of a surprise, in retrospect, is that we can point pretty easily to when and how the Royal Comets won. In a word, turnovers.

Turnovers, a strong second quarter for the Comets, and an outstanding 27-point performance by RH senior, Sheldon Brown. Perhaps there was an added incentive for the Comets in the memory of a 41-39 loss on Fitch Court back in mid December, the Comets' first and only loss of the season.

Rush, statistically speaking, won the game in the second quarter. The two teams battled to a 15-15 tie at the end of the first quarter but it was in the second that the Comets turned on the heat and outscored the Raiders by 11 points. Rush went to the locker room at half time with a 40-29 lead that they would never relinquish. Though the Raiders outscored the Comets by two in the third (11-9), the Comets would take the fourth quarter by two (18-20). So that 11 point lead that the Comets ran up in the second quarter would carry through to the final score.

But turnovers, especially the type caused by a strong defense, were one of the keys to this game. While the Raiders do turn the ball over, on average, slightly more than 18 times in a game, Friday's contest proved to be well above average in the turnover department. The Raiders handed the Comets the ball no less than 26 times in the contest. And it was pretty much a team effort in this category with turnovers spread rather evenly across the night's lineup.

The flip side of the coin...

But while the Raider's didn't make the bus ride home as victors, there were some bright spots in the contest worth mentioning.

First, three Raiders scored in double figures: Eric Snider and Mike Clay accounted for 12 and 13 points on the night respectively, while Ryan McAdams led all Raider scorers with 14.

Adam Wale shot 83% from the free throw line, going 5-for-6 on the night while Eric Johnson went 4-for-6 from the line, accounting for all four of his points in the contest.

Mike Clay hit three of his five shots from beyond the three-point circle and while Snider yanked down 11 rebounds, seven of those on the offensive boards.

The Red Raiders are currently ranked third in Section V Class AA, behind Greece Athena (13-0) and Rush Henrietta (13-1).

Up Next ...

The Raiders next face the winless Churchville-Chili Saints (0-15) in a road game on January 31st.