Your Raiders played great basketball last week in preparation for the region tournament, where they hope to clinch a state playoff spot.
The girls lost to the Cherokee Warriors on Tuesday. Senior Neusha Green was able to put up a near double-double, fighting hard in the paint against Warrior defenders for rebounds and putback layups. Green has played well in the both games against the Warriors this season, which could be key if the two teams find themselves playing each other in the region tournament. Freshman Cici Childers also played well against the Warriors, succeeding in running the half-court offense and breaking traps when the Warrior defense threw them at her. Childers was able to find teammates open for midrange jump shots multiple times when she drove to the basket as well. Friday the girls honored their seniors with a 73-35 defeat of Lassiter. In their best offensive showing of the season, Emily Lee led the Raiders with 23 points on the night. Lee also had six three pointers on the night, and when she was subbed out received a standing ovation for her hard work for the program over the years. Her fellow senior Neusha Green also played a strong game, scoring 9 points and battling down low as she has for the entirety of her Walton career. Green also received a standing ovation as she subbed out for the last time in the game. The Raider girls have played their best basketball over the back half of the season, and just played their best game of the year ahead of the region tournament. While they have played some tough games this year in region, they have consistently bounced back in their next matchup and have showed that, whenever they step on the court, they have a chance to win the game.
Despite a loss, the Raiders showed great improvement on Tuesday from their last matchup against the Cherokee Warriors. Much of this can be attributed to their ball movement. The team consistently swung the ball around the perimeter to find open shooters, and in the second half, was able to swing the ball inside as a result. Carson Adler was often one of those shooters on the perimeter, making four three point shots in the game and leading the Raiders in scoring for the night. Carson was able to start the second half strong for the Raiders, making threes on back to back possessions to cut the lead to single digits and swing the momentum in favor of the Raiders. Dylan Pumpian also found success against the Warriors, scoring 11 points on the game. Pumpian was not only a spot up shooter; he also put the ball on the floor multiple times and created space to free himself up to take a shot. The boys defeated Lassiter in their senior night as well, 67-43. Pearce Spurlin was able to open up the game in a big way, jumping over a Trojan defender for a put back layup. Spurlin also had a big presence in the lane, swatting away multiple Trojan shot attempts and affecting other shots. Luka Avaliani lead the Raiders in scoring, finishing with 19 points. Luka also had 3 straight and-ones in the 4th quarter, sealing the game for the Raiders. All of our Raider seniors found success in their last home regular season game as Raiders. Toni Adenupe scored in double figures, slicing through the lane and finishing through contact for layups. David Sickles finished with 12 points, making big shots when needed to slow the Trojan momentum. David’s last points came midway through the third when, off a pass from the elbow, he took a three from well beyond the line and sunk it to extend the lead to 20 points. Cole Morris put the exclamation mark on the night when he took one dribble from the foul line and threw down a powerful dunk over a hopeless Lassiter defender.
Both teams will finish the regular season this Friday on the road against Woodstock. The girls will start at 6:00, followed by the boys. Be there to support your Raiders!