Boys hoops has high hopes

Feature Photo By: Samir Mohammed – Senior captain Devin Collins finishes stretching outside before his weight room class. Collins was unable to play a majority of his 2016 varsity season after being injured early in the season.

By: Samir Mohammed, Review Staff

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder; these are signs that December is approaching. The cold weather has brought chills and holiday lights to neighborhoods across Aurora. Hot cocoa, ugly sweaters, and the holiday season are in full effect. With summer behind us and autumn slowly falling away to winter, the 2017 Rangeview Boys Basketball season is now underway.

Many Raider fans say they are excited for the upcoming season after attending the annual Red and White basketball game. The game stayed within six points throughout its entirety, and a last minute buzzer beater attempt by freshman Cade Palmer got the entire gym on its feet. Fans say they want to see that kind of intensity and promise from the team throughout the entire season.

This school year has already started off different for the the Raider basketball team. For the first time at Rangeview, there’s an exclusive gym course for basketball players during fourth period. In hopes of improving this season, players claim that they already enjoy the class and are ready for the new season.

Shown in the photo is Rangeview’s 1985 men’s basketball state championship trophy. The Raiders will play in their first official contest for the 2017 season at 3:20pm on Thursday November 30th, against Mesa Ridge in Highlands Ranch. (Smair Mohammed)

“This is going to be a very exciting season,” said senior captain and center Ryan Ongala. “It will also be exciting to see what we will accomplish without the seniors we lost last season.”

The Raiders will be six players short with the seniors that graduated last year. Among the Raider alumni is their former captain and top scorer, Matthew Johnson, who averaged 22 points and carried the team to playoffs. The Raiders lost in the second round on playoffs to Eaglecrest for the second consecutive season. It is tough to say how the Raiders will adapt and overcome; varsity head coach Sean Palmer believes the team continues to show growth and progress each day.

“I think it’ll be a process having such a young core but we have a lot of depth on our team and the challenge we give each other during practice will expedite the process,” commented coach Palmer.

The Raiders play their first game of the season away on November 30th at 3:20 against Mesa Ridge. Mesa Ridge finished the 2016 basketball season 18-3, and many say the Raiders have a challenge ahead of them. Although the game and tournament is in Highlands Ranch, fans say they are still ecstatic to support and see the team in an opportunity to test both their chemistry and skill.

“I’m very excited for the boys basketball season because that means the girls season is also underway,”  stated senior Aaliyah Smith. “I want to see how the boys adjust to losing their top scorer Matt Johnson and how they can continue to grow as a team.”

Many say they are excited to see what the current seniors and young players have to bring to the basketball culture at Rangeview high school. The Raiders will have to play well and win games if they want to continue the legacy of making it to playoffs.

For more info on Rangeview Basketball, click here: http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/rangeview-raiders-(aurora,co)/basketball/home.htm

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