RAIDERS

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - Sblack­ledge @dis­patch.com @Black­iePreps

holdover for the Raiders. “Sure, we’re a com­pletely dif­fer­ent team from last year with a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity, but that’s not a bad thing. We play like we have to fight for ev­ery­thing we get. And that was the dif­fer­ence.”

That de­ter­mi­na­tion and abil­ity to get to the rim pow­ered host Reynolds­burg to a 58-53 vic­tory over Ga­hanna in an Ohio Cap­i­tal Con­fer­ence Ohio Divi­sion opener Fri­day night.

Both teams are con­sid­ered dark horses be­hind two-time de­fend­ing re­gional cham­pion Pick­er­ing­ton Cen­tral.

“I liked how we were able to re­bound and fin­ish at the rim,” Reynolds­burg’s Xavier Prince flips up a shot as he falls into Ga­hanna’s Maceo Wil­liams in the first half. Reynolds­burg coach Scott Davis said. “We were able to grab some of those re­bounds and turn them into tran­si­tion bas­kets. I liked that, and the fact that a lot of peo­ple

con­trib­uted when it mat­tered.”

Af­ter fall­ing be­hind 20-11, Reynolds­burg (2-0, 1-0) re­sponded with a 14-1 run as part of a 17-3 sec­ond quar­ter.

But Ga­hanna (1-1, 0-1) opened the third quar­ter on a 14-0 surge for a nine-point lead un­til the Raiders closed with the fi­nal eight points.

The fi­nal pe­riod was nip and tuck to the fi­nal two min­utes.

Eli­jah Thomas gave Ga­hanna a 49-49 tie when he turned a steal into a three-point play with 1:31 left.

Fort scored on a strong drive with 1:18 left and Nick Wal­lace nailed a three-pointer to make it 54-49, Raiders, at the 43.9sec­ond mark.

Ga­hanna never got closer than three af­ter that.

Fort fin­ished with 18 points. Sean Moore added 11 points and Willoughby 10 points and nine re­bounds.

Ga­hanna got 16 points from fresh­man Sean Jones and 15 from Thomas.

“It’s no se­cret that we’re un­der­sized and we’re go­ing to have fight harder on the glass,” Ga­hanna coach Tony Staib said. “The game came down to re­bound­ing tonight. They got a lot of sec­ond-chance op­por­tu­ni­ties and made us pay.”

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