Rangeview Basketball Wins Comeback Thriller vs Overland on Home Opening Night

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Rangeview Raiders Center KK Stroter attempts a fastbreak dunk in win against Overland on 12/9. (Joslyn Bowman, Raider Review)

Jake Bonansinga, Sports Writer

Thursday 12/9 the 1-2 Rangeview Raiders took on the 0-2 Overland Trailblazers in their first home game of the season. In the preseason coach voting, the Raiders were ranked just above the Trailblazers at 12 and 13 respectively. So, this matchup was bound to be a fight until the end.
As the boys warmed up and students from both schools filled the stands, tensions were high. Both teams and fans knew the stakes of the game. A win for the home team would put them back at a .500 record, while a win for the Blazers would turn their season around after two disappointing losses to Regis Jesuit and Chaparral, two prestigious programs. For both schools, this game was a must-win.
The first quarter was dominated by the Blazers. It seemed like every shot sunk for Overland while the Raiders struggled to get rebounds and really get any offense going. The Trail Blazers crowd started to get cocky, pointing out the scoreboard to the Raider crowd any time the student section tried to get anything started. The quarter ended with an eleven point lead for Overland, 21-10.
The second quarter is where Rangeview started to pick it up. Offense started to click and they were able to contain the Overland squad. Slowly, the Raiders started to climb back, cutting the deficit to 7 by halftime. After the second quarter, the score was 38-31.
“It was a rough start,” Raiders Senior Malik Frazier said, “but after the first quarter we were really just following the plan of speeding the other team up.”
After coming back from the locker room for the final half, Rangeview’s boys strayed from their strategy and started slow again, letting Overland build on their lead for the beginning of the third quarter. The Blazer’s thought they could start to run away with it, but Rangeview Forward KK Stroter and Guard Elijah Thomas had other plans. Following a monster dunk by Stroter in the third, the momentum shifted towards the Raiders. The boys clawed their way back until the Overland lead was only 2. It was now 53-51, with the Rangeview squad primed to take the lead.
The fourth quarter was a nail biter. It was a constant back and forth between the two Aurora teams, with neither school giving an inch. Soon, the final minute of the game came around and the score was all tied up, thanks to some clutch three point shooting from Raider Forward Malik Frazier and Guard Tyrele Wake. The final minute was full of intensity, as both schools knew the gravity of any kind of mistake. This didn’t stop the teams from doing so, as the Raiders turned the ball over on an unforced error on an errant pass. It looked as though Overland would take the game until they did the exact same thing as the Raiders, tossing the ball out of bounds on a corner pass.
Now, KK Stroter would take control. Not only did he score the go-ahead bucket with 10.5 seconds left in regulation, but he would also have a game saving block at the other end of the court. The ball would roll out off of the Blazers, and Rangeview would take the game with another last second layup by Stroter. Fans stormed the court as the buzzer sounded as the team celebrated.
This comeback win was a monumental game for the Raiders, as beating another highly ranked team boosted both team morale and state rankings. Led by an outstanding 22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals for Elijah Thomas and 7 three pointers spread throughout the team, the Rangeview Raiders basketball team found a way to stay in the game and pull out the win. The guys look to improve their record in the next game against Grandview High School on 12/14 at Grandview.

Maxpreps Player of the Game: Malik Frazier (15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal)
Writer’s Pick: Elijah Thomas (22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals)