Portland Raiders getting instructions from Coach Jason Goerge during a Haslett time-out in the 4th Quarter.
All Coach Jason Goerge wants is for his Raider basketball team to play with the intensity they displayed in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Haslett. If that happens then the Raiders are going to get to the other side of the win/loss column sooner rather than later. "We need to be more enthusiastic at the beginning to the game", Goerge reflected after the game. "I told the team I was proud of them for their fight late in the game. But that we need to come out with that fight early."
Led by Sophomore Trent Meyer's hot shooting, four successive three pointers, the Raiders came back from an early fourth quarter 21 point deficit, when they trailed 56-35, to pull within eight points with over three minutes left in the game. Aryan Virk added nine points in the quarter,but the Raiders ran out of time and finally succumbed to the Vikings 73-62.
Haslett held the Raiders to only 2 second quarter points and took a 25-13 lead into the locker room at half-time. The Raiders left their old team in the locker room and came storming back in the second half scoring 49 points. Owen Russell scored 12 of his 14 total points in the second half. Haslett took advantage of the Raiders strategy to make them win the game at the foul line. The Vikings made 13 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter.
The game began on a somber note with a moment of silence in honor of popular Haslett Principal, Bart Wegenke, who passed away unexpectedly last Saturday at the age of 53. Wegenke had been the Principal at Haslett High School since 2004. Wegenke was also a highly regarded Mid-American Conference Basketball Official.
Haslett was led in scoring by Brennan Boettcher with 25 and Jack Dillon with 12. Sophomore Lonnie Smith added 10. The Raiders were led by Virk with 22, Trent Myers with 15, Owen Russell with 14, Jordan Petersen added 5, Grant Ruddy chipped in 4 and Gavin McGregor had 2.
The Raiders, 2-4 on the year, next play the high-flying Eaton Rapids Greyhounds, who are 7-1 on the year, at home on Friday night. The night will begin with Coach Jason Haid's Lady Raiders, one of the top 10 Division 2 basketball teams in the state at 8-1, hosting the Lady Greyhounds who are also 8-1. It should be a great night of basketball.