MONTICELLO – The Harrison Raiders appear to have overcome their offensive woes.
Losers of five of their previous seven games, averaging just 55.8 points in the losses, Harrison fell behind by as many as 14 points in the middle of the second quarter on Tuesday night at Twin Lakes.
Then, the Raiders seemingly couldn’t miss.
Harrison scored 80 points in the final three quarters, shooting 60 percent and scoring its most points in 16 years to win a wild one, 94-86 over the Indians.
“You could tell that it fell like the weight of the world fell off the kids’ shoulders when the ball started going in the basket,” Harrison coach Mark Rinehart said. “For us, the last week and a half of our struggles are over. When you score 94 points, you can play offensively.”
The Raiders hadn’t surpassed 90 points in a game since a 99-65 victory over Gary Mann on Jan. 29, 1999. On Tuesday night, they avenged a 62-59 loss to Twin Lakes on Dec. 6.
Twin Lakes (15-8) lost its third straight following a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season. The Indians shot 48.5 percent and got 27 points and 13 rebounds from Dane Holmes, who started the game 7-for-7 and had 17 points by the time Twin Lakes took its largest lead, 35-21 with 5:25 to go in the first half.
But the Raiders eventually countered, beating Twin Lakes down the floor for easy layups and going on a 3-point barrage that brought them back.
A 45-38 halftime deficit was quickly erased in the third quarter after Dominic Trapp’s 3 and two deep Cade Renicker 3s gave Harrison its first lead since the score was 2-0.
“Renicker started that and he wasn’t really even close to the 3-point line,” Twin Lakes coach Kent Adams said. “Those shots he made were way out there, which he is capable of doing. He’s done that to us before. We needed to do a better job of respecting that.”
Trapp finished with a team-high 21 points, scoring 16 in the second half and going 3-for-5 from 3.
“We had a couple-game losing streak and had rough nights scoring, but tonight broke our streak, I think,” Trapp said. “Once we see shots go in, everyone starts making them.”
The Raiders (13-9) were also efficient at the foul line, making 26 of 32 while going 30-for-50 from the field.
All 10 players who entered scored and five finished in double figures as Isaiah Carpenter and Matt Vawter each scored 16, Renicker added 15 and Matthew Roop poured in 11, including two free throws with 30.7 seconds left that pushed the Raiders’ lead to 90-84.
“I thought some of the guys who didn’t score a lot (were huge). A possession where we were still teetering, Aidan Hannon went up and just ripped the ball away and got us an extra possession,” Rinehart said. “I think we got a 3 on that possession. Those are kind of the hidden plays when we were struggling with confidence that make all the difference in the world.”
Twin Lakes also had several high scorers in a battle that saw 18 made 3s between the two teams. Blake Bennington scored 18 points and Bryce Bennington contributed 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Justin Crabb scored 10 before fouling out and Matt Conrad kept Twin Lakes close with three 3s while Harrison’s offense was surging.
“Harrison came out and won that game more than we lost it,” Adams said. “Their intensity and pressure continued for 32 minutes and ours kind of waned.”