Basketball’s historic run falls short

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Feature Photo by Vincent Tran: Senior Tyrei Randall takes a shot against Eaglecrest. Randall had eight points in the loss.

Sebastian Wiegand, Sports Editor

The best season in school history came to an end Friday night in a disappointing fashion. The 26-0 Boys’ Basketball team took on the 24-2 Eaglecrest Raptors.  Both teams were one seeds in their respective brackets, and the game lived up to the hype.

The Raptors instantly jumped out to a five point lead on a layup and a three pointer.  The Raiders would come back but a hot shooting from beyond the arc would put the Raptors up by three at the end of the first half.  The Raiders looked hot in the second quarter and headed to the half up by one on a buzzer beating three-pointer by Elijah Blake.  The score at halftime was 26-25, Rangeview.

The one point lead however would not last, as Eaglecrest came back and hit the floor running and went on a 8-0 run to open up the third quarter as Rangeview star guard Tyrei Randall picked up his fourth foul. With Randall on the bench, Rangeview couldn’t muster enough offense to come back as they entered the fourth quarter trailing by seven. With their season on the line, the Raiders gave it their all as they came all the way back and took a small lead. That lead didn’t last long either as Eaglecrest was sent to the line and regained a three point lead on free throws.  The Raiders then missed a pair of last second threes to give Eaglecrest the win.

The Raiders were without standout wing Randall for most of the game due to foul trouble, and without his presence struggled on outside shots, shooting just 5-17 on threes.  Despite his limited playing time Randall still put up eight points for the Raiders. Seniors EJ Reed and Jalen Guidry led the Raiders throughout the game; Guidry threw up 10 points and Reed added 13 points to go along with six rebounds.

Despite the crushing loss the Raiders still had a season to remember. They set the school record for wins in a season, they won Coach Palmer’s 200th game and they won the program’s 500th game.

“We had a great season, we just came short of our goal said Junior,” Matthew Johnson.

Elijah
Junior Elijah Blake plays defense against Eaglecrest. Blake was named the EMAC co-player of the year. (Vincent Tran)

They also placed three players on the All-EMAC first team, EJ Reed, Tyrei Randall, and Elijah Blake. Elijah Blake was also the co-EMAC Player of the year.

The 2016 class of seniors have been the best class of seniors to hit the hardwood ever in Rangeview history.  Over four seasons, they notched 87 wins, one sweet sixteen appearance, two great eight appearance, and one final four appearance.

Several Raiders also notched personal records in the school record books. Tyrei Randall shot his way into fourth place on the Rangeview career three-pointers made list with 123.  Kris Hollins and EJ Reed are on the career charges drawn list with Hollins in third place drawing 21 carrer charges, Reed comes in at fourth with 18 career charges drawn.  Jalen Guidry also had the second most assists in a single season by a Raider with 168 assists and was only five assists behind Terry Taylor who set the record of 173 assists back in the 1984-1985 season.

The Raiders will have a lot to look forward to next season, despite losing seven seniors to graduation. Juniors Elijah Blake and Matthew Johnson played crucial roles on the team this season. Junior Donyvan Jackson will also look to make an impact as one of the guards. Sophomore Ryan Ongala will look to run the paint with his 6-6 frame. In very limited action this season, Ongala pulled in 19 rebounds and blocked seven shots this season.

“I like the fact that people are already doubting us about next season,” said Coach Palmer. “It’s motivation to get back to work.”

The Raiders will get back to work soon as they begin their spring league games April 21.