The Davidson Raiders senior boys basketball team jumped out of the gate last Tuesday beating the Central Butte Bulldogs 71-33 before a big crowd at home in their first game of the 2013-2014 season.
Kim Rettger, head coach of the Raiders, said the team did a good job moving the ball quickly up the court and staying wide until they reached the three-point line resulting in good penetration on the Bulldogs defence. He said they have a small team with a deep bench, so that is going to be their “bread and butter” this season and it worked well against the bigger Central Butte team that seemed to run out of gas in the third and fourth quarter.
“I was really pleased how they stuck to the game plan,” said Rettger. “From the big guys we got some inside plays and some real nice passes from our guards, some screens and some guys were working pretty well together. We tried a couple different defences, man-to-man in the first half and then we went to zone in the second half, and both seemed to work pretty well. With the defences mixed up no one can find us very predictable, which is a nice thing.”
The Raiders were led by centre/forwards Travis Bublish and Kirby Manz who controlled the backboards while also dominating the inside, which gave point guards Huck Rettger and James Morrison the means to send in passes. Davidson forward Vanner McDonnell helped set the tone for the game playing a strong first half that saw the Raiders jump out to a quick 20-8 lead after the first quarter and 35-18 advantage by halftime.
“It was good,” said Huck, who got his first taste of senior basketball action in the game. “It seems a lot faster than junior is, but it was a good game. We had pretty good contributions from everyone. Vanner and a whole bunch of kids played great. James, Gabe (Ebenal) and Ben (Nykiforuk), all those guys played good. It was just a good all-around team game.”
Rettger said he has lined up a busy season for the team where they would play some strong opponents that they normally wouldn’t see, while also developing some good rivalries with opponents in their own conference. He said they’ll be heading to a few “big schools” for tournaments this year giving the Raiders a chance to see some tougher competition while also providing them with a couple clues on what they need to do to keep improving.
“We’re going to be playing uphill most of this season, but I’ve found over the years we play much better by challenging ourselves versus playing teams that you have an easier chance to beat,” said Rettger, noting better play and staying healthy are their keys to a successful season. “With this deep a team we can take a fairly good run at the playoffs and see how far we can go. Going out of conferences is a real strong possibility and after that who knows.”