Raiders come up short against Panthers in Class 4A Boys Basketball State Title game

Santa Fe overcame 16 point deficit to force overtime
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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LAKELAND, Fla. (WCJB) - The Santa Fe Raiders hopes of winning their first state title in boys basketball was exactly 60 seconds away, but they missed six consecutive free throws in the final minute of overtime to eventually lose 90-83 to Pine Crest in double overtime.

The Raiders (20-6) fell behind by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, but after Ausar Thompson fouled out of the game for the Panthers with 7:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, Santa Fe mounted a comeback and tied the game 64-64 at the end of regulation.

In the first period of overtime, North Carolina State commit Ernest Ross scored the first basket by making a tough floater in the lane. Ross finished with 18 points before fouling out in double overtime.

The next basket came from his teammate, point guard Dontrell Jenkins. Jenkins had a team high 31 points, by making 8-17 three pointers. His triple made it 69-64.

After taking a five point lead, Mason Brown finished with a dunk in transition to balloon the Raiders lead to 73-65. Santa Fe was only one minute away from winning their first title in boys basketball.

But Amen Thompson willed his team back into the contest by knocking down a three pointer and making key free throws, while the Raiders missed six straight shots at the foul line.

In double overtime, Thompson and his team outscored the Raiders 17-10 as Pine Crest went on to win their fourth state title in program history.

The Raiders finished the season winning 15 of their last 17 games as they earned State Runners-Up honors.

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