Flashes lose a nailbiter against Riverfield

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 16, 2016

In a game that went down to the final second, the St. Aloysius Flashes came up just short Friday night against Riverfield Academy.

Peyton Raborn scored a basket with less than 20 seconds left to give Riverfield the lead, and it hung on to beat the Flashes 55-54.

St. Al had taken the lead with 26 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Braxton Chewning. After Raborn’s basket, the Flashes weren’t able to score in the closing seconds.

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“We played like we practiced the last two days. Our minds have not been on preparing,” St. Al coach Eddie Pickle said. “(Riverfield) played well. I thought we were more athletic. They just outplayed us.”

Moving forward, Pickle said his team (5-5, 0-3 District 3-AAA) needs to work on running its offense and its defensive rebounding over the Christmas break. The Flashes don’t play again until Jan. 5 when they host St. Andrew’s.

St. Andrew’s won 84-11 when it played St. Al in the season opener on Nov. 8.

“I was hoping to use that one as a barometer to see where we are,” Pickle said.

In Friday’s game, Braxton Chewing led the Flashes with 18 points followed by Nick Councel with 15 and Jaylen Whitaker with 10.

Cole Garrett led the Raiders with 16 points, and Matthew Weems scored 15.

The score was tied at 23 at halftime, and the teams went back and forth right to the end. Riverfield went up by seven points in the fourth quarter before St. Al came back with an 8-0 run in the final 2 minutes to take the lead it could not hold.

(G) Riverfield 48, St. Al 33

Riverfield proved to be too much for St. Aloysius to handle in the girls’ game.

Taylor Hixon scored 24 points and Leilani Williams added 10 as the Lady Raiders took advantage of St. Al’s foul trouble and poor shooting to win.

“We’re having trouble scoring,” St. Al coach Gary Post said. “I can’t ask for better work ethic. The shots are just not falling.”

The Lady Flashes got into foul trouble, with Elise Piazza at three and both Olivia Curtis and Michelle Howington at four by the end of the night.

“You can always put the blame on referees if you want to. They call it the way they see it, I’m assuming, and sometimes they don’t see it the way we do. This happened to be that way tonight, but we’ve got to quit using that for an excuse.”

Piazza scored 12 points to lead the Lady Flashes, and Brooklyn Breihtaupt had 10.

“Piazza had a good shooting night tonight. If we could have gotten maybe one or two more to contribute perhaps it would have made a different outcome,” Post said.

Post said his team has endured a number of setbacks this year, with the biggest one being the loss of Grace Upshaw. She was averaging 16 points per game when she suffered a season-ending knee injury.

“It’s been tough finding 16 points a game. Some of the girls are stepping up and trying to fill her shoes,” Post said.

He said he was disappointed in the defense and said the Lady Flashes are still working to find their identity both offensively and defensively. The team is frustrated, he said, but he feels like a turning point in the season could come at any moment.

St. Al led 14-13 in the second quarter before Riverfield used a 12-2 run to take control. The surge put the Lady Raiders ahead 25-16 at halftime. They extended the lead to 13 points by the end of the third quarter, and never led by less than 10 points in the second half.