After sending the Ft. White Indians to the sidelines Feb. 11 with an easy 87-53 win, the Red Devils were awaiting their third match up of the year against the Santa Fe Raiders.
This time however it will be for the district championship and home court advantage for next week’s regional quarterfinals. The four-time defending district champion Red Devils were ready.
In the first regular season game hosted by Santa Fe , the Raiders came away with a last second basket for a 51-49 win.
Two and one half weeks later with Williston hosting the second match up, it was simply no contest as the Red Devils led at every stop and won by 19 points.
Saturday, Feb. 12, it was the Red Devils and the Raiders locked up for the third time in four weeks.
The Red Devils have been playing lights out basketball the last several games and this night would be no exception.
“These kids have gone on a big run at some point in most every game lately,” said Head Coach Steve Faulkner following the game. “I was glad they had this one tonight.”
The district championship game got off to a slow and cold shooting start for both teams. The Red Devils managed to hold a slight lead at every stop and never trailed the entire game. The Raiders tied the game early in the fourth and final quarter at 40-40 with 5:27 showing on the clock.
Then came that big run the Red Devil fans were waiting for. Led by Deterion Ross and Tre Wilson , a slam dunk by James Hunt, a big 3-point basket by James Monroe, and a stifling lights out defense the Red Devils closed out the last 5:27 with a 19-3 run for a 59-43 win and their fourth straight District Championship.
These two teams are simply the best two teams in this district, and it is sad that one of them will have their run to a State final four berth ended when in all likely hood they will lock up again for a fourth time in 5 weeks in the Quarterfinals.
It is certainly hard to beat the same team three times in a three week span, especially when the teams are both well coached, and both have outstanding athletes.
The Red Devils will host The Villages Thursday night Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. as the Regional Quarterfinals get underway.