Boys Basketball: Raiders fall to Rahway 79-55 in home opener


Matthew Levine

On Thursday, Jan. 28, the Raiders boys basketball team took to their newly renovated court, complete with the knight logo sitting above “RAIDERS” in massive block letters. Despite sporting their new, clean jerseys and the hope that their past struggles were behind them, they found themselves in an 0-2 hole after falling to the Rahway Indians (2-0), 79-55. 


After getting blown out at Linden on Jan. 27, 61-30, the Raiders played winning basketball through two quarters displaying tremendous hustle and perimeter shooting only trailing by two points at halftime, 35-33.  When the buzzer sounded to signal the start of the third, the Raiders’ strong shooting went cold, and the Indians went on a run outscoring the Raiders 24-8 in the third quarter and 44-22 in the second half. 


“I think the first half, we just came out with a lot more energy, hitting more open shots,” junior forward Damon Schumann said. “And it’s just the second half, it seems like we might have just broken down defensively or something might have happened. I feel like we played a lot better tonight compared to the other game.” 


Junior Jaden Carter bounced back from his scoreless opener against Linden by scoring 11 of the Raiders 16 points in the first quarter. He made other impact plays throughout the game but was held to three points after his hot start. 


“[I] definitely was like ‘keep giving me the ball, I’m hitting my shots so keep giving me the ball,’” Carter said. “I was going into this game not knowing what to expect because yesterday I couldn’t hit any shots. Today I seemed to hit most of them so definitely a stress reliever just to make me open my mind like I’m gonna have all [different shooting] days to do it, which definitely what today was: perseverance.” 


Schumann displayed his immense talent coming off the bench as an effective wing. Despite some careless defensive errors like sending a Rahway shooter to the line for three free throws in the second quarter, his vision and finishing ability were excellent tonight. Carter and Schumann will be critical players to help the Raiders climb out of this 0-2 hole. 


When asked about where the Raiders plan to approach the future, Schumann was honest about the state of the team and their only goal: accumulate wins. 


 “I think we’re going to work on just seeing who could really help the team because with the way that we’ve been playing there might be a few changes,” Schumann said. “So we need to see who’s really going to be best for the team and how we’re going to improve the team to get wins.” 


Senior guard Hayden Widder was extremely happy about the first half of basketball the Raiders played, but the energy in the second half waned as mistakes piled up. 


“I definitely could have played better, hit my free throws, and hit the open shots I had,” Widder said. “The things we need to work on most, in my opinion, are working hard to get to the glass for rebounds, hitting open shots, and getting stops on defense.”


The Raiders look to get their first win on Monday, Feb. 1 against Summit on the road.