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Raiders defeat Heart River

For the Richardton-Taylor boys basketball team, the fun-and-gun style of offense displayed by Heart River on Tuesday was just what the Raiders were looking for.

For the Richardton-Taylor boys basketball team, the fun-and-gun style of offense displayed by Heart River on Tuesday was just what the Raiders were looking for.

The quicker the better for Richardton-Taylor coach Dan Glasser.

"Our main strength is our athletic ability and our speed," Glasser said. "We have a little bit of size but I think with strong, quick kids, the faster the game, the better we have a chance of winning."

The Raiders kept a double-digit cushion throughout the final game of opening day at the Roughrider Tournament at Knights of Columbus Activities Center, eventually downing the Cougars 62-44 to advance to the semifinals.

"Defensively our full court pressure got to them," Glasser said. "We have a lot of things to improve on defensively and it started with our first game against Bowman.

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"We improved from the Bowman game but we still have more to go from there."

The Cougars attempted to combat the Raiders' press by launching full-court passes to start their possession and at times, it worked.

Many times, however, Heart River came up empty, either failing to beat the Raiders defense or missing the intended target.

Cougars' coach Craig Olson said he would have liked to see more patience out of his team.

"We'd like to push the ball up the floor and look for some transition buckets but it wasn't there tonight," Olson said. "We struggled to get the ball up top and settling down, running an offense and making them play some defense."

Heart River committed 23 turnovers, which was more than the 17 field goals they made.

The Raiders, meanwhile, had 14 steals.

"Our full-court defense was good but our half-court defense needs working on," Glasser said. "We go to some wrong spots in the zone but man-to-man looked good."

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Glasser was very happy with the flow of his defense, which was able to out run Heart River, but also slow down the tempo.

Senior guard Garrett Zent and junior guard Jadon Messer carried the offense for Richardton-Taylor. Zent posted a game-high 25 points while Messer tallied 22, hitting three from beyond the arc along the way.

"Jadon and Garrett did an excellent job of using their athletic ability and getting to the basket," Glasser said.

Killdeer 70, New England 33

For the Tigers, it was over in a manner of seconds.

Unable to get the ball past half court against the Killdeer press, the Cowboys went on a 9-0 run to start the game en route to the win.

"I was proud of our effort," Killdeer coach Rich Dufault said. "Overall, we did some things well but all in all, I thought the first half was a sluggish, lethargic, going-through-the-motions type of half."

Killdeer senior Austin Dufault posted 25 points in only 21 minutes, 5 seconds of action. The large 30-12 halftime lead allowed both the Tigers (1-1) and Cowboys (2-2) to play some of their younger players.

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"They need the experience early in games and so we went with them," Rich Dufault said.

Killdeer's press and overall tight defense plagued the Tigers throughout the game, resulting in 15 Cowboys steals. Killdeer junior guard Ethan Harris and senior guard Mike Wagner each led the Cowboys with four while Austin Dufault had three.

"The seniors came up to me and said, 'Let's go with a little pressure,'" Rich Dufault said. "We had talked about it and I said, 'Yeah, let's go with it.' It was effective."

The Cowboys also asserted a dominant inside presence beyond Dufault. Wagner posted 11 points and senior forward Drew Gartner had 10. Harris totaled nine points.

"That was probably one of the better interior passing games we've had from the short corner in quite awhile," Rich Dufault said. "Our kids are really unselfish and they look for each other a lot."

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