Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rams Fall Short against Highlanders

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rams Fall Short against Highlanders

Article excerpt

PUNTA GORDA

BASKETBALL: Missed free throws doom Riverview

The Riverview High boys basketball team knew exactly what it was facing when it took on Lake Highland Prep.

Coached by former NBA player Jeff Turner, the Highlanders lost two games this season: Montverde Academy by 6 points and Orlando First Academy by 1. Lake Highland goes 6-foot-8, 6-6 and 6-5 across its front line and likes to play up tempo, press and score in transition.

The Highlanders were on the verge of blowing the Rams out of the Fish Tank, but a third quarter comeback made it respectable.

In the end, missed free throws and carelessness with the ball prevented Riverview from coming away with a victory.

The Highlanders closed the fourth quarter making their free throws in a 61-51 victory in the Wally Keller Classic on Saturday at Charlotte High School's auxiliary gymnasium.

"It was a great opportunity against one of the best teams in the state, any classification," Rams coach B.J. Ivey said. "We wanted to make it a half-court game and keep it in the 40s. We were close to doing that until we had to foul."

Riverview (14-3) hung tough against the Class 4A Highlanders, leading 22-21 late in the first half. Lake Highland (17-2) closed the second quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 29-22 lead.

"What they did best was capitalize on our mistakes. When we made a mistake, they made us pay for it," Ivey said. "We knew we didn't want them to come out and separate early. They made a run and we showed a lot of character to fight back."

Scoring 23 points in the third quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by senior Eric Traver, the Rams took a one-point lead into the final eight minutes.

The Highlanders separated by converting turnovers into easy baskets and making their free throws when Riverview was forced to foul. Both teams made 21 field goals, including four 3-pointers. …

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