Frederick outlasts Riverdale Ridge in Overtime Thriller

The Frederick Warriors survived a slugfest fight against the Riverdale Ridge Ravens on Thursday

Luke+Justice+%28junior%29+goes+up+for+an+acrobatic+layup+during+the+second+quarter.+Justice+played+an+important+role+for+the+Warriors%2C+scoring+25+on+the+night

Mason Faulkner

Luke Justice (junior) goes up for an acrobatic layup during the second quarter. Justice played an important role for the Warriors, scoring 25 on the night

Joshua Bailey, Staff Writer

On an atmospheric senior night, the boys basketball team conquered one of their biggest challenges to date. The Warriors took on the Riverdale Ridge Ravens–a team with a superior record and size advantage–and battled it out in a tight slugfest, winning 72-65 in overtime.

The game was back and forth from the get-go. Neither team had more than a single-digit lead during the entire course of the game. Both teams came out firing in the first quarter, knocking down shots in quick succession. It was the Ravens who had the lead heading into the second quarter, up 16-14.

In the second period, Frederick couldn’t seem to match the momentum that Riverdale Ridge was riding on offense. Despite sound defense on the Warriors’ part, and individually stifling post-protection by Matais Aldana and Alex Sturn (three blocks and two blocks respectively), the Warriors’ deficit grew to seven, the largest of the game.

However, stellar offensive play by Luke Justice (25 points on the night) brought Frederick back within one score, down 34-35 at the halftime break. It was possibly Justice’s best game of the season, as he shot a remarkable 78% from the field, including a 75% clip from three-point range. His massive performance would be key to the Warriors’ victory.

The second half of the game was reminiscent of a boxing match. Both teams exchanged heavy blows, momentum shifting between the two sides. It would only be a matter of who could outlast the other.

It seemed as if Frederick would hang on to the lead as the game was drawing to a close. With under a minute to go, the Warriors had control of the ball and were up by two. However, they only shot 1/4 from the free-throw line in the waning moments of regulation, opening the door for the Ravens with 12 seconds left in the game, down by three, 59-56. Anthony Chavez, the sharpshooter for the Ravens, capitalized on the late-game mistakes by Frederick, hitting a three-pointer and tying the game with less than a second left in regulation.

However, in the four-minute overtime period, Frederick asserted their dominance and proved that they are a high-caliber team deserving of a playoff spot. Luke Justice once again put the team on his back, converting an and-one layup to give Frederick a lead. He also went 4-5 from the line to put the game out of reach for Riverdale Ridge. It was Harry Singh who put the dagger into the Ravens’ heart when he nailed a deep three, effectively icing the game, and putting the finishing touches on a brilliant performance from Frederick.

As the final buzzer sounded, the student section stormed the court, the final score reading 72-65. The Warriors improved to 14-3, and the Ravens’ win streak of four games was snapped.