The Jack Lewis Gymnasium was packed to the doors for the Red Hook Raiders game against the Saugerties Sawyers Feb. 26, in the semifinals of the Section 9 Class A tournament.
The crowd almost spilled onto the floor; the student section had organized a whiteout, and the gym was heavy with good, old-fashioned game-night electricity.
Despite all that, however, the Raiders went down to defeat, 59-44.
Red went big with the starting line up to head off Saugerties’ size advantage, running guards Mike Rodgers and Paddy Parr along with forwards Brendan Coleman, Luke White, and Will Avis.
Rodgers opened the game up on an up-and-under lay-up off a breakaway at 7:42; he would score again on a breakaway at 3:33. Saugerties, despite matching up well at forward positions, had trouble containing Red’s breakaway offense and a powerful early rebound campaign from White and Avis, who each had a bucket on the quarter. The Raiders came out of the quarter leading 11-8 to great applause.
Things cooled off for Red Hook in the second after Saugerties buried two three-pointers in the sixth minute and took their first lead, 14-11. Rodgers managed another breakaway at 4:46 but was thrown to the ground by Saugerties’ Darnell Edge while in midair. Will Avis scored Red Hook’s only field goal in the second on a rebound putback, and Paddy Parr sank two free throws. Rodgers, normally Red Hook’s go-to scorer, looked hesitant to attack the rim after being fouled earlier in the period. The Raiders couldn’t get anything to fall in the quarter and were outscored by the Sawyers, 16-4, in the period. Red went to the locker room trailing 24-15.
Red Hook scored on a Rodgers field goal at 7:06, but wouldn’t score again until 3:45 on a strong drive from White. White was the only hot hand in the third, scoring again at 2:51 on a long two-point field goal and sinking a free throw in the final two minutes. Dennis Hare went two-for-two from the stripe at 1:07, but Red gave up a basket on a turnover at the end of the quarter to kill the period 39-25.