Unknowns and Undervalued

Posted On: 11/20/19 10:27 PM

In the second game of the Blue Dungeon preseason classic at Gulliver Prep, the host Raiders defeated the North Miami Beach Chargers 58-47. Senior Gabe Taylor finished with 17 points for Gulliver Prep while sophomore Kareem Barnett led the Chargers with 16.

In the first game, Florida Christian went on to defeat Coral Reef 98-81.

The Raiders broke this game open in the second quarter after both teams started off rusty offensively during the first eight minutes. Gulliver Prep led 15-10 before breaking it open in the second quarter on the back of Taylor. After that, the Raiders took a 34-20 lead to the break and never looked back. It is worth mentioning the Raiders were without some projected pieces to there roster. Donnell Harris, Eddie Jackson, and Diego LaMonica all did not play. The trio all recently finished up playing with the Raiders on the football team. It was also the first game for new Raider head coach Gary DeCesare.

Five Takeaways:

  1. Gabe Taylor is electricTaylor, who is also a member of the football team, did not play in the first quarter of this game. When he was inserted into the lineup, the difference was evident. Taylor scored seven points in the second quarter and opened up the Raider lead to double-digits. In the third quarter, Taylor used his football body to draw contact on a pretty finger roll layup for a bucket and one. He was electric with the ball in his hands in the open floor  and gave the Raiders a spark when he was on the floor. Oh by the way, he did all of this in about two quarters of play. 
  2. Tony Sanders off night: Sanders is likely the best player on the court on any given night and might be the best player in all of south Florida. In the Raiders first game however, this was just not his A+ performance. Sanders finished with ten points on 4/15 from the field and was nicked with some foul trouble. The senior has scored over 1,000 points in his Raider career and is destined to commit to a major Division 1 school. No need to worry here in game one of a long season.
  3. Niki Aixala for three: Aixala was on fire early in the game, connecting on his first three 3-pointers on the night when the Raiders needed an offensive spark. The senior hit another later in the night to finish with 12 points on an efficient five shots from the field. Aixala could be a nice x-factor for the Raiders this year.
  4. Hello, Kareem Barnett: This was my first time seeing NMB and Barnett really impressed me. The sophomore scored in a multitude of ways and kept putting the ball in the basket until the final play of the game. If this is a sign of things to come, Barnett could be in for a special year. I think he is a player to keep an eye on.
  5. Stars were out: This might be a “preseason” classic, but the crowd had a few familiar faces. Former NBA stars Ray Allen and Glen Rice were in attendance. For the rest of the country, that might be pretty cool. In south Florida, it seems to be just another day.