Lady Raiders Regular Season and Conference Tournament Champs; Raiders Clinch Share of Regular Season Title
With a 48-29 win at Timberlake last Friday, the Lomega Raiders clinched at least a share of the Cherokee Strip Conference regular season championship. The Raiders finished the season with a 6-1 record in the conference, with their lone loss coming on November 15, when Burlington, ranked #10 in Class B, came from behind to win 53-52 at the buzzer. The Raiders, ranked #13 in Class B, would win their next six conference games, defeating Kremlin-Hillsdale (62-23), Medford (62-17), Cherokee (48-27), DCLA (80-32), Ringwood (59-32) and Timberlake. Lomega is currently alone at the top of the conference standings, but Ringwood, ranked #18 in Class A and 5-1 in conference play, has yet to play Medford (Feb. 10). The Cherokee Strip Conference has no tie-breaking procedures, so if Ringwood beats Medford, the two schools would be named Co-Champions, despite the Raiders head-to-head regular season win over the Red Devils.
After starting the conference season with a 45-39 win over 8th ranked Burlington, the Lady Raiders won their next six conference games by an average of 56 points. They defeated Kremlin-Hillsdale (83-33), Medford (87-16), Cherokee (78-37), DCLA (94-28), Ringwood (100-46) and Timberlake (83-28) to win the Cherokee Strip Conference regular season championship with a 7-0 conference record.
Lady Raiders Conference Tournament Champs
Going into the Cherokee Strip Conference Tournament, no member of the Lady Raiders had ever lost a conference tournament game. By the end of the weekend, they remained undefeated. The Lady Raiders cruised to their fifth straight conference tournament title with wins over DCLA (94-28) in the first round, Kremlin-Hillsdale (72-18) in the semifinals, and Cherokee (75-42) in the championship game.
Junior Ady Wilson was named the tournament MVP. Wilson was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior Emma Duffy and freshman Sydni Walker, who both missed the first half of the season due to injuries. Also named to the All-Tournament Team were Gracie Leslie and Lizzy Webster from Cherokee and Emma Watkins from Kremlin-Hillsdale. Kremlin-Hillsdale defeated Burlington 38-28 in the third place game and Ringwood beat Timberlake 33-19 in the consolation championship.
While the girls side of the conference has been very top heavy this year, with only two teams (Lomega and Burlington) having winning records, the boys side has proven to be much more competitive. Going into the conference tournament, only two (Kremlin-Hillsdale and DCLA) of the eight boys teams had losing records, and five teams (Lomega, Ringwood, Timberlake, Cherokee and Burlington) still had a chance to win the regular season conference championship.
Lomega opened up the tournament with a 47-30 win over Timberlake. After a 27 point win at Ringwood just three days earlier, the Raiders fell just short of reaching the finals with a 42-39 loss to the Red Devils, ranked #18 in Class A, in the semifinals. After leading Cherokee 44-38 after three quarters in the third place game on Saturday, the Chiefs rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they outscored the Raiders 11-5 on their way to a 61-55 win.
Junior Noah Snowden was named to the All-Tournament Team. Snowden was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Jacob Briggs (MVP) and Luis Aguilar from Ringwood, Lake Lyon and Kade Chade from Cherokee, and Burlington's Preston Paschall. Ringwood defeated Burlington 69-34 in the championship game, while Timberlake beat Kremlin-Hillsdale 63-47 in the Consolation Championship.
The Raiders and Lady Raiders will travel to Drummond tonight before returning home for the first time in over a month next Tuesday (Feb. 11) for the regular season finale against Pond Creek-Hunter. The Raiders and Lady Raiders will also celebrate Senior Night.