RE Boys’ Basketball Struggles in 78-59 Loss to MCDS Spartans

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Courtesy of the Ransom Everglades Athletics Department

Zach Marcus ’22 and Neil Schiff ’21 attempt to block a MCDS shot

It was a tough evening for the Ransom Everglades Raiders in the Henry H. Anderson ‘38 Gymnasium Thursday night as they were defeated 78-59 by the Miami Country Day School Spartans. Throughout the game, RE struggled to find success from its three-point shooting and could not keep up with the Spartans’ size. The Raiders were led by Asher Zhuk ‘23 with 19 points, with Lucas Ortiz ‘21 adding on another 14 points as RE’s only other double-digit scorer. 

“We have just got to be better,” Zhuk said. “I thought we could have played a lot better, but that was definitely a winnable game. We have just got to execute and make shots, but we’ll get that next time.” 

MCDS started the game off hot, forcing the Raiders to call a timeout after falling to a 9-2 deficit by the middle of the first quarter. However, the Spartans continued to beat RE with their size advantage and extended their lead to 18-7 by the end of the period. 

Zhuk ’23 beats his defender and makes a hard-earned layup (Courtesy of the Ransom Everglades Athletics Department)

The Raiders improved their scoring in the second period but still were outpaced by the Spartans. RE fouls left the door open for MCDS to further expand their lead to 39-24 by the end of the half. Ortiz led the Raiders in scoring at the half with 10 points (all of which came in the second quarter) while the team shot 2-13 from the three-point line. 

“I thought we played pretty well,” RE Head Coach Scott Berman said. “I thought talent-wise we were right there with them, but we missed shots. We missed wide-open shots. They made shots. At the end of the day, it’s still a shot-making business. You have got to put the ball in the basket. And they’re really talented and they’re tall and they’re good. 

RE was not ready to throw in the towel yet. The Raiders came out of the halftime break with aggressive defense and explosive offense that shrank the Spartans’ lead to 10. Eventually, however, MCDS regained its momentum and further expanded the lead to 62-41 by the end of the third quarter. 

The game flow of the end of the third quarter would mirror that of the fourth quarter, with the Spartans opting to keep many of their starters in the game for most of the period. However, the Raiders slightly cut the lead to 19 points for a final score of 78-59. 

Ortiz ’21 drives to the basket on a Raiders’ fast-break (Courtesy of the Ransom Everglades Athletics Department)

“We’re definitely going to get a lot up shots up tomorrow (in practice) to prepare because we couldn’t hit [them] today,” Zhuk said. “And we have got to go hard because we went a little soft in that game, so we have got to work hard tomorrow in practice.”  

“I spoke to my guys about the importance of going as hard as you can in practice to simulate games,” Berman said. “So, when you’re taking shots in games, it’s realistic. I think we have to an extent gone hard in practice, but we need to do a better job of going all out every second, so we simulate game-like shots, and [then] I think we’ll start making shots.” 

RE falls to a 1-2 record on the season thus far and will seek to return to .500 on Saturday at 1 p.m. when they take on the Somerset Academy Silver Palms Stallions at home. 

“It’s good. A little adversity early in the season is not a bad thing,” Berman said.