Raiders upend Bethel in OT at finals of Ravn Invitational
The Unalaska Raiders had a dual mission when they boarded the plane to Bethel this past weekend to compete in the 2018 Ravn Invitational Basketball Tournament. Among their goals was to prove themselves against a talented team in front of a big crowd.
Unalaska proved itself a legitimate power by taking down the Bethel Warriors, 54-51, in overtime in the championship game.
"The weekend was a great experience to go to Bethel and play quality basketball with tough competition," said Raiders head coach Kent Russell. "The boys learned a lot about their abilities as a team and the weaknesses we need to continue to work on."
The Raiders battled their way to a quick lead against Bethel. Trevor Wilson and Matt Faoasau both pushed in a pair of baskets in the first quarter and powered Unalaska to a 14-6 lead. Carey Boston, Kevin Ho and Dallas Lane also contributed points to the UHS assault in the opening frame.
Bethel rallied back a bit in the second. The Warriors outscored the Raiders by a 15-13 clip in the frame and pulled to within 27-21 at the half.
The Raiders continued to stretch their lead in the third. Unalaska garnered points from Boston, Alex Esnardo, Wilson, Ho and Faoasau en route to building a 10-point cushion.
The Warriors, who are expected to challenge Barrow for the Western Conference title this March, caught fire late in the third and battled to within 39-32 at the start of the fourth.
Bethel continued to fight back in the fourth quarter. Bethel reeled off a 16-9 run in the frame and fought its way to a 48-48 tie at the end of regulation.
Unalaska weathered Bethel's barrage in overtime. The Raiders collected points from Boston, Wilson and Faoasau en route to pounding out a decisive 6-3 run in the extra frame.
"The game with Bethel was intense and we found a way to make a few more plays than they did," said Russell. "The crowd was loud enough that the backboard was shaking when we were shooting free throws at the end."
Faoasau led all Unalaska scorers in the game by tossing in 14 points. Wilson added 12, while Boston chipped in nine.
The Raiders kicked off the tournament with a bang on Thursday with a rousing 67-42 rout of the Houston Hawks in the first round.
"We had a big second quarter with a 20-5 point margin," said Russell. "In the second half, we were able to use our defense to keep the lead and maintain control."
Wilson keyed the Raiders' win over Houston by grinding out 34 points. Ho added nine.
Unalaska punched its ticket to the tournament's championship game with a 75-47 victory over the Kotzebue Huskies on Friday.
Faoasau led four UHS scorers in double figures against Kotzebue by throwing in 16. Lane and Ho chalked up 11, while Wilson contributed 10. Trever Schliebe and John Esnardo added eight.