Raiders live by three, die by three
Published 12:54 am Saturday, January 24, 2015
The Southampton Academy Raiders were unable to avenge an early season loss to the Brunswick Vikings on Friday night, falling 52-50 and prolonging the team’s season-high five-game losing skid.
The Raiders hoped that two-consecutive three-pointers in the first ten seconds of the contest would the mood for the whole night, but the early success gave the team false confidence behind the arc. All five of the team’s baskets in the first quarter were from deep, as the Raiders sailed to a 15-8 lead at the end of the period. In all, Southampton Academy knocked down seven three-pointers over the course of the night, something head coach Chris Pope believes is a key to his team’s success.
“They were just giving us the looks, so we took them,” he said, unaware that his team’s first basket from anywhere else on the court hadn’t come until in the opening seconds of the third quarter. “We have a couple players that can shoot pretty well.”
The fact that the shots stopped falling from deep, though, led to the home team’s demise. As the shots were bouncing off the rim, Brunswick was able to close the gap to one, 21-20, just before halftime. Offensive rebounds led to second chances, whether from the field or at the free throw line, and the Vikings would take their first lead of the game shortly thereafter.
Southampton Academy remained in the contest through three by finally working the ball through the post, but to no avail, as the Vikings began to pull away. Trailing 36-30 entering the fourth quarter, the length of the road team continued to wear down the Raiders and was too much to overcome.
“When you get in foul trouble like we did in the second half and allow them to shoot 37 free throws, compared to our 11, we’re going to have a hard time winning,” the coach said after the game.
The Raiders made it interesting late, a missed three from the corner by Andrew Lowe with 10.3 seconds left in the game rang out to give the Vikings the win. Lowe and Jackson Smith finished with 13 points each.
At 6-9, winless in the Virginia Commonwealth Conference, Southampton Academy will look to get back in the win column on Wednesday, Jan. 28 when they travel to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, to battle Halifax Academy.