Raiders pounce on Wildcats

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

 Austin Carter and Kevin Marlow combined for 16 in the opening quarter to give Sonora an early lead and the Raiders outpaced Wildcats the rest of the way to win their seventh straight Friday night at Brea 83-57.

Sonora’s Kevin Marlow puts one up against Brea  in the Raider’s 85-57 win Friday.

After winning four consecutive games over top notch competition to take their division at the Under Armour Holiday Classic in San Diego over the break, the Raiders were brimming with confidence, and it showed early on in Brea.

Marlow’s hot shooting from downtown continued. The senior shooting guard sank a pair from downtown early and notched 9 first-quarter-points.

“Marlow has been playing at a really high level,” said Head Coach Mike Murphy. “He gets from point-A to point-B as fast as anybody.”

Carter dominated the paint with 7 points to give the Raiders a commanding 22-5 lead over the Wildcats heading into the second quarter.

“I’ve been at Sonora for 27 years and I’ve never had anybody as strong as him,” Murphy said.

“We try to establish ourselves inside at the beginning of the game, it spreads out the offense,” Marlow said. “We like to feed Austin and that forces the defense to collapse to double him, and that really opens it up for our shooters.”

Despite the dominant start, the Raiders never really put the game much farther out of reach, outscoring the Wildcats just 61-54 the rest of the way.

Murphy acknowledged afterwards that executing for a full four quarters is something that his team still needs to work on.

Sonora’s Sean Murphy splits Brea defenders on his way to the basket in the Raider’s 85-57 win Friday.  

“I thought we came out with great energy in the first quarter, we shared the ball and moved the ball really well,” Murphy said. “What often happens with high school kids, once we got up by 20, everybody was out there for their own, the ball wasn’t moving, we weren’t sharing and we kinda stopped executing.”

“We jumped on them early, but I think we got complacent a little bit and took our foot off the gas pedal,” Marlow said. “I think we executed ok, we just didn’t play with the same intensity as we usually do, but that’s something we can work on and easily fix.”

 Carter finished with a game high 21 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots. Marlow was close behind with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

Sophomore Maceo Reddick finally got Brea going, scoring 7 of his 10 points in the second quarter. Tyler Clark led the Wildcats with 13 points, all of which coming in the second half.

The Raiders (16-2) will begin Freeway League play Tuesday night at home when they host Buena Park (14-1). Much like last season, the Coyotes figure to be the Raiders toughest competition in league.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.