The Newberry Panthers and the Santa Fe Raiders are both entering Tuesday night’s matchup with losses. Now the two rivals will battle it out on the court for a second time this season. The Panthers lost Monday night to Bell, 68-65. Their biggest downfall was turnovers. Newberry has to focus on cleaning up miscues, executing well down the stretch and shooting free-throws in order to succeed.
Panthers Head Coach Edward Johnson says they’ve been playing hard and working well together, but they can improve on some things. Cory Durden leads the Panthers in scoring, averaging 17 points per game. David Robinson supplies the team with a lot of energy on the defensive end and Adrian McCray adds 7.4 rebounds per game.
Earlier this month, Newberry fell to Santa Fe at home, 63-55. Johnson says Santa Fe will put pressure on the Panthers so they will have to take care of the ball.
Now, Newberry is heading to Santa Fe’s court for a rematch and the tensions will be running high. Raiders head coach Elliot Harris says he never goes into a game thinking it’s going to be easy.
The Raiders’ Downfalls
Earlier this season, Santa Fe was playing particularly well. Now the team sports a 13-9 record. Harris says Santa Fe does not have a star player, instead there is equal distribution.
The Raiders were on a three-game winning streak before their 55-53 loss to P.K. Yonge on Saturday. Santa Fe has also had trouble with turning the ball over. They have not been playing well defensively. The Raiders are focusing on their zone and making sure the team is communicating.
Before their last meeting with the Panthers, Santa Fe was on a six-game winning streak. The team then added two tough losses to Eastside and Gainesville shortly after its victory over Newberry.
Harris says the Raiders are looking at the contest tonight as a way to prepare for their district tournament.
Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m.