The Raiders knew its game against Glen Ullin-Hebron was going to be a tough one. The team knew it was going to have play arguably its best basketball of the season to defeat the 4-2 Bearcats. Sadly, it wasn't able to and the Bearcats left with a widespread victory.
After escaping with a 56-54 victory over 1-5 Mott-Regent, the Bearcats were eager to still prove their team was still one of the better teams in the region and showed pure dominance against the struggling 1-4 Raiders, particularly inside the paint.
The Raiders did its best to keep the game close, but after being narrowly down by 20 at the end of the first quarter, the Bearcats continued to make the gap wider as the game moved forward, eventually coming out with the 81-41 finish.
"At times we see spurts of chemistry and at times we don't, we're still trying to figure out who we are as a team and I'm hoping it happens sooner rather than later," Raiders' Head Coach Kari Dohrmann said.
As for Bearcats' head coach Greg Pruitt, the teams performance was a solid bounce back following such a narrow victory on Saturday.
"I was proud of the way that we came out and the fire that we came out with for a region game and being an away game," he said. "It's always tough to play in Richardton's gym."
Bearcats' senior Grant Gerving led his team in the victory with 21 points but was followed with strong performances by the sophomores. Kanyon Unruh scored 13 points, Damian Gerving recorded 12 points and Benjamin Hosman recorded 11 points.
As for Richardton-Taylor, center Trey Bohlman did his best to keep the team within shouting distance of the Bearcats with 14 points. Seniors Colten Krank and Ashton Hoff both recorded eight points.
The Raiders struggled from the opening tip, after the Bearcats got on the board with an inside bucket, Richardton-Taylor recorded three straight turnovers which Glen Ullin-Hebron quickly converted to take a 9-1 lead, forcing Richardton-Taylor to call an early timeout. From there, it may have been Richardton-Taylor's home court, but it was the Bearcats' show, hitting shots from inside and mid-range.
After having a 25-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Bearcats went into the halftime break with a 45-19 lead. Grant Gerving went into the half with 14 of his overall 21 points coming in the first half alone.
Despite the large deficit, Richardton-Taylor attempted to bounce back and play solid defense, but the quickness of the Bearcats was too much for the home team as it allowed numerous buckets inside the paint.
Pruitt said his emphasis at the half was get more inside buckets after the team scored only one 3-pointer in the first half.
"We talked in the locker room about trying to work on our inside game and getting out in transition to get the ball down the court because we thought we needed to improve on that a little bit," he said. "The biggest thing was to not settle for the 3-point shot, try to get something inside the paint."
The game plan worked to perfection against the Raiders' struggling defense, earning countless buckets inside the paint to take a 64-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
By the time the fourth quarter had arrived, the Raiders' seemed to hit its fatigue after trying to constantly climb back against a hot Bearcats team and was outscored 17-12 in the fourth, overall falling 81-41.
Despite the win, Pruitt still believes there are things his team needs to improve upon as the season goes forward into its regional schedule.
"I was a little disappointed with our defensive effort and we were a little slow on our feet," he said. "We put (Richardton-Taylor) on the free throw line a little too much but all around just a great team effort."
As for Dohrmann's Raiders, the team has a week to rest and improve before playing against Beach on Jan. 12. Dohrmann says the week's preparation could be just the thing the Raiders need to start hitting its stride.
"We battle hard, I think we got a good group and their disciplined, but we still need to find our chemistry," she said. "Hopefully that's going to happen ... at times I love the way the kids play, but at times we struggle with our passes, shooting and our shots didn't fall, I'm impressed with some things but overall back to drawing board."
The Bearcats will return to action on Jan. 8 against Washburn.
GLEN ULLIN/HEBRON: 81
Glen Ullin/Hebron: Kanyon Kunruh 13, Layne Duppong 4, Benjamin Hosman 11, Zayden Schmalenberger 7, Tyus Thomas 2, Grant Gerving 21, Damian Gerving 12, Ethan Duppong 3, Gunnar Remboldt 9.
Richardton-Taylor: Collin Grage 2, Colten Krank 8, Cody Miller 2, Chance Isaak 2, MacKale Hoselton 2, Asthon Hoff 8, Jace Olson 2, Trey Bohlman 14.