Boys’ Basketball: Despite game-day changes, the Raiders dominate against the Panthers in their last regular-season game

The Ransom Everglades Raiders varsity boys’ basketball team faced the Everglades Preparatory Panthers on Thursday night in the Henry H. Anderson ‘38 Gymnasium for their last regular-season game. The Raiders entered the game without Head Coach Scott Bermandue to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, and were also down their top six players due to COVID-19 precautions in preparation for the district tournament next week.  

The Raiders, led by assistant coach Matthew Leavitt, were victorious, despite their obstacles before the game, winning with a final score of 78-57. The Raiders’ top scorers were Cameron Franklin ‘22 with 16 points, Eli Goldman ‘22 with 15 points, and Asher Zhuk ‘23 with 15 points. 

“Coach Berman has built such an incredible system that we know what it is we are doing each night and we can continue on with that tradition, so it was not like I had to reinvent a game plan for tonight,” Leavitt said. “I just had to follow the layout that we have been working on for the last two years.” 

Franklin started the first quarter strong with a three-pointer, and Goldman quickly followed up with another. The Raiders never lost the lead and played strongly on both ends of the court, ending the quarter up, 23-20.  

“It was tough without Berman being there, as he is obviously our coach and leader, so we wanted to play hard and win for him and the seniors too,” Zhuk said. We are very prepared for districts next week and will keep preparing, but it is looking good.” 

The second quarter was even stronger for the Raiders. They kept the pace of the game fast, ending the half up, 50-32, and holding a strong lead against the Panthers. 

During the third quarter, Goldman started off strong for RE with two layups, and the rest of the team followed suit and maintained the lead. The third quarter ended with the Raiders up, 65-45.  

The Raiders kept up their fast-paced game during the fourth quarter and ended their last regular-season game with an emphatic win. The final score was 78-57.  

“I thought the team played very well together. We played unselfishly and got everyone involved,” Goldman said. “We have a bright future offensively but need to continue working on the defensive [end of the court].” 

The varsity boys’ basketball team now holds a record of 14-9 and will compete next on Wednesday night against the Archbishop Carroll Bulldogs in the district semifinals, with a full team.   

“Tonight we finally clicked, and even though it was tough without Coach Berman, we still played our game and got the job done,” Franklin said. “I think our team is even more prepared for districts now that the bench has gained more confidence in themselves.”