The Runnymede Ravens senior boys basketball team will be limping into the Christmas break after a 60–36 drubbing at the hands of the Lakeshore Phoenix, Dec.15.
Forward Javone Rowe led the Ravens in scoring for the third straight game with 11 points. But Runnymede lacked energy partially due to the loss of their point guard, Everton Clarke, coach John Kalantzakos said.
“Everton went down in gym class this morning with a dislocated ankle so that hurt us not having him to control the offense,” he said.
In addition, a lack of communication on the court disjointed Runnymede’s cagers.
“We started slow and didn’t play a team game,” Kalantzakos said. “It was a bunch of individuals out there, everyone just tried to do it themselves.”
Lakeshore forward Eyobe Tersenna picked up 13 points and a handful of assists as the Phoenix dominated the short-handed Ravens from start to finish.
It was a story of teamwork, Lakeshore coach Alex Smethurst said.
“We definitely wore them down,” he said. “We’ve got a fast team, and we were able to push the ball up court all game.”
Smethurst was especially pleased with the play of guard Cortez Cheatham, who had 9 points and several rebounds in the win.
“He was probably our best player,” Smethurst said. “Played just phenomenal defensively … he’s really athletic and he was grabbing rebounds at both ends all game.”
Runnymede was down 10 at the end of the first quarter after giving up countless fast-break points that lead to a deflated troupe.
“We don’t have much depth to begin with,” Kalantzakos said. “We only had six guys see the court that had any experience.
“The guys ran hard and gave their all, but we just didn’t have it tonight.”
Lakeshore stretched their lead to 23 in the third quarter, using the clock to their advantage while getting production from bench players such as Ledion Ala and Kyle Timmons.
Overcoming the adversity proved to be too much, Ravens forward Ebun Tomiwa said.
“We were missing a player so we all tried to step up ourselves and play better, but it was our worst game of the year,” he said. “We weren’t trusting our teammates, we were all just show-boating.”
The loss hurt even more because both teams came into the game in a four-way tie for second place in the West Region’s south division with 2-2 records, and both came were coming off victories.
“I don’t know if the guys realize it, but this was going to be a key win if we’re going to make the playoffs,” Kalantzakos said. “We’ve got to start buying into everyone working together on the same page soon, or else it’s going to be a long haul.”
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