Raiders open league with win over Highlanders | La Habra Journal

Posted on 17 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Raiders and Highlanders kicked off the Freeway League season with a closely contested game on Wednesday night at

The Highlanders played the Raiders tough but Sonora pulled away during the third quarter to win 64-50.

Heading into the third quarter, the Raiders held a three point lead, with a spirited Highlander crowd behind their team.

The Raider bench led by Josh Saucy and Sean Murphy provided the spark Sonora needed to get the victory.

Saucy’s energy created easy opportunities and extra chances as the Raiders found their shooting stroke.

“(Saucy) gave us a lift, because neither one of our big guys were playing well,” Sonora head coach Mike Murphy said.

The Raiders outscored the Highlanders 18-7 in the third quarter to create some separation.

The Highlanders were able to respond in the fourth quarter, led by Devin Howlin. Howlin scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, but was unable to bring his team

With many of the Raiders playing in their first league game Kevin Marlow’s leadership was important to keep the Raiders on track.

Marlow led the Raiders second half charge with five points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth, he finished with a team high 17 points.

“Kevin Marlow was, you know, Kevin Marlow, we’re going to get that pretty much every game. He’s by far our best scorer,” Murphy said.

The Raiders needed to rely on timeouts in order to communicate and make changes as a result of their youth.

“We’re so young and inexperienced. The players can’t (make adjustments) by themselves yet, they can’t organize an offense, they can’t make sure we’re in the correct defense,” Murphy said.

That inexperience made the Highlander crowd even more effective in disrupting the Raiders flow and communication.

The Highlanders played their best during the first half, where their defense was at its

“I thought we were doing a good job at being quick. We looked at the film, at what they like to do, so we responded well to that, and I thought we were able to control them for the most part,” La Habra head coach Dave Ploog said.

Every team in this league is familiar with the other teams’ play styles, which make games very even.

“Any win this year is a good win,” Murphy said.

The Highlanders finished 0-10 last season against the Freeway League but have shown improvement game by game.

“We’re not the same team, but we have a lot of the same guys. We’ve really matured, we’ve grown up, still we got  a long ways to go with some of the small things, but I’m happy with our strides, and I think we’re going to keep getting better,” Ploog said.

The Highlanders host Buena Park in their next game, while Sonora will travel to Sunny Hills.

Habra Sports Journal