Raiders edge Dolphins in districts by 3
Two weeks ago, in a different sport, the Dolphins did it again with another fourth quarter comeback.
But last week, Navarre returned the favor.
The Raiders, who led by as many as 11 early in the third quarter, held on for a 48-45 win in a District 1-8A semifinal Feb. 7 in Navarre. Niceville beat the Raiders 65-54 in the championship game Friday.
The loss ended Jarrod Denmon’s second year as head coach, but has recorded more wins than the previous years both times (five two years ago, to 11 and now 13).
Gulf Breeze failed to score on its first five possessions, which allowed the Raiders to take a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes.
The Dolphins would get 3- pointers from Chance Napier and Cole Sheppard to get within 9-7.
Gulf Breeze turned the ball over seven times in their first 10 possessions in the second quarter. That stretch allowed the Raiders to go on a 12-6 run to make it 25-13.
GBHS would cut the deficit to five at the half after Sheppard bucket, a layup by Dmitri Pejic and a Zion Hamilton 3-pointer - both off passes from Sheppard.
The Raiders hit a pair of threes to open the third quarter, giving them an 11-point lead.
Napier, who was 5-for-10 from the field for 12 points, hit one of his two 3-pointers before Pejic converted a three-point play as part of an 8-3 run to get Gulf Breeze back within 34-28.
The Raiders, who out-rebounded GBHS 39-27, scored off a pair of offensive boards to increase their lead to 10 before a 6-0 run, capped by a Will Welch 3-pointer, made it 38-34 heading to the fourth.
Gulf Breeze tied the game at 40- 40 on a Napier hoop. An 8-2 run upped Navarre’s lead back to six before a Pejic scored the last of his team-high 18 points on a 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left. GBHS had two chances to tie in the final 10 seconds, but were unable.
Pejic was 7-for-11 from the field, while Napier had six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Sheppard had six points, six boards and two blocks, while Hamilton had five, Welch and Tyler Phelps six rebounds and four steals.