Raiders Lose Season Opener in Low-Scoring Affair Against River Hill
Roosevelt lost, 36-35, on Monday evening in the first game of the regular season.
With high expectations both internally and from the press, the Eleanor Roosevelt boys basketball team took the court on Monday for their first regular season game of the year against the visiting River Hill Hawks.
It was a grind-it-out affair – not the type of game that really gets you hooked on basketball. Both teams' shot selection was ugly, as was the multitude of turnovers on both ends. That's to be expected in December though, as teams form identities and learn to play together.
Unfortunately for the Raiders (0-1), River Hill was just a bit ahead of the curve, and eked out the win by a final score of 36-35.
The Hawks (1-0) held the lead from their first possession until just 23 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
On what would be their last productive possession of the game, the Raiders, led by point guard Jamal Sims, brought the ball up court.
Sims swung the ball to junior Chaun Miller on the right wing who looked for options inside, found nothing, and returned the ball to the point. Sims penetrated, sucking the defense away from Miller, and dropped a quick one-handed bounce pass to him for the open three. The shot caromed off the front rim and into the hands of forward Prince Okoroh, who finessed a layup off the backboard.
Okoroh's bucket gave Roosevelt a 34-35 lead, their first and only advantage of the night.
A charge taken by junior forward Shawn Petty just 10 seconds later suggested to the home crowd that their team had stolen one after trailing all evening.
With just 13 seconds remaining, the Hawks fouled Raider Cameron Israel to try to regain possession. The often-used, rarely-successful technique proved fruitful for River Hill, as Israel missed both free throws, allowing the Hawks to advance the ball up court off the rebound to a waiting Zach Scott, whose layup returned the lead to the visiting team with just 1.9 seconds remaining in the game.
Although they managed to get the ball to the front court, the Raiders could not get off a shot before time expired, solidifying their first loss of the year.
Miller and Okoroh led Roosevelt with 12 points apiece. Sims contributed 9 on the night.
Senior Alex Standrowicz paced the Hawks with 14.
"We didn't shoot it well tonight, but that's going to happen sometimes," Roosevelt Coach Brendan O'Connell said after the game. "We knew from the beginning that it was going to come down to the end."
On top of poor shooting (the Raiders made just eight field goals all night), turnovers were also an issue, as Roosevelt amassed 16 over the course of the game.
Miller, who last year led the team in scoring as just a sophomore, struggled throughout the evening, shooting just 3-12 from the field.
"I could have shot better, but as a whole we could have made plays down the stretch," he said. "[Nerves] could have been the issue. We started a lot of guys who haven't played varsity before."
O'Connell agreed with Miller's assessment.
"I think they were a little nervous at the beginning, but that shouldn't be an excuse," he said. "River hill is good. Everybody looks at them and thinks they shouldn't be good, but they always do this. Hopefully we just learn from it and fix it tomorrow."
The Raiders' next chance at earning their first victory will come on Friday when they travel to Laurel. Stay tuned to Patch for coverage of that game.
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RIVER HILL SCORERS
|River Hill||Free Throws||4/7, 57.1%|
|Roosevelt||Free Throws||14/21, 66.7%|