An early lead soon became a battle for each team to sustain their season in Thursday night’s class 2A district semifinal game.
“We knew this game was going to come down to the last seconds,” said East Sac County head coach Todd Bontrager. “We both were very similar teams playing a style of play that mirrored each other, both playing a tough 2-3 zone and executing very well and patiently on offense.”
The game, as predicted, would go down to the final seconds.
East Sac didn’t seal the narrow 53-49 victory until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.
Ridge View had trailed much of the game but was able to fight back into the game in the second half and tied the ball game with just four minutes left in the contest.
The Raptors were able to take a slight 47-45 lead, but East Sac County answered back when Gavin Vondrak was able to knock down a three-pointer to keep momentum, and the scoreboard on the side of the Raiders.
Ridge View answered back, but Tyler Wright, another East Sac player, hit a long three with 1:30 left in the game to put the Raiders up three.
Ridge View raced down the floor to try and tie the game once again. Despite the defensive effort, the Raptors were able to fire off an attempt to tie the game with a three. The shot rang off the rim, and East Sac senior Camden Schroeder was able to grab the rebound. Schroeder was fouled and made a free throw to put the Raiders up 53-49, where the score would stay for the final five seconds.
“I was very proud of our team play and execution, especially for not having a game in nine days,” Bontrager said. “This group has done an amazing job with focus and effort level in practice every day this year.”
Tyler Schmitt led the Raiders with 14 points. Schroeder added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Next up for the Raiders is a rematch against OABCIG, the No. 2 ranked team in class 2A.