Riverdale Ridge boys basketball coach Byron Gray hopes his team’s recent stretch straightens out in time for the postseason next week.
The Ravens lost in overtime to Frederick, lost in the last seconds to Thompson Valley and lost in overtime to Silver Creek Feb. 10. The final was 86-79 in the first round of a cross-over tournament between the Northern Colorado Athletic Conference and the Longs Peak League.
Ryan Leopold had his way inside against Silver Creek. He led the Ravens with 24 points. Marcus Hinh added 15, Anthony Chavez scored 11, and Mj Nuce contributed 10. Andrew Scott led the Raptors with 25 points.
Tanner Call had 22, and Jackson Gallagher scored 13 before an injury ended his evening in overtime.
The Ravens had an 11-point lead at halftime against the Raptors, saw it vanish and still held the 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. A series of turnovers led to a dozen Raptors’ points. RRHS rallied from a five-point deficit in the last minute, though. Chavez nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time ran out to send the game into overtime.
The two teams played the first half of the extra session on even terms. But a Ravens’ mistake was all Silver Creek needed to take charge. Call made the eventual game-winning basket with 1:24 left in overtime.
He also converted four free throws in the last 50 seconds.
“The pressure got to us at the end,” Gray said. “ We stopped doing the stuff we were really successful with in the first half. We fought back. That was the good part. In overtime, we have to be better. These are the lessons we have to learn on the way to the playoffs.”
Three players on the Ravens’ rosters are sophomores. Four others are juniors.
“We’re just young. A lot of them have never been here. That’s big,” Gray said. “We had a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter. Maybe they were tired, fatigued on the road. We have to learn our lessons. That’s the bottom line.”
Tournament play continues this week. Opponents and start times were not available at press time. The state 4A tournament begins next week.
“I liked the grit that we had in the first half. Everything we talked about in the pregame, we did it,” Gray said. “We came out in the second half, lost focus and let them back in the game. Then we came back again. We just have to finish. That’s a lesson we have to learn as a young squad. I’m not worried about it. You lose this game? It’s hard. We’ve had three tough games in a row. You’ve got to learn those lessons on the way to being great.”