The Fifer Riders both advanced further in the 8th annual Capital Classic on Wednesday night. The boys got past the Spartans 46-42, while the girls squad won by 5, 23-17.
In the girls game, both teams started out flat. After a first quarter that saw both teams score only one basket, the two squads headed into the break with Fifer holding an 8-5 lead.
In the second half, both teams started to warm up a bit and the offenses came alive.
The Lady Spartans led by Arika Burrell, W.T. Chipman cut the Riders lead to only 1 heading into the final stanza. Burrell, took control of the game in the third from the guard position, leading the Lady Spartans with a team-high 8 points.
Jessica Kwasnewski of Fifer had carried the Riders offense the majority of the game, finishing with 6 points before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Alexis Reid and Brianna Scott would pick up the slack helping the Riders outscore the Lady Spartans 10-5 in the final quarter on their way to a 23-17 win.
The Fifer boys defeated W.T. Chipman 46-42 foiling a furious comeback attempt from the Spartans to sneak out with the 4-point win.
Fifer 8th-grader Joe Williams led the way for the Riders finishing with 12 points in the victory.
The boys game featured some of the best the state has to offer at the middle school level and the game did not disappoint.
Like the girls game, both teams came out a bit flat from the opening tip with Fifer taking an 11-6 lead into the second quarter.
From that point on it was coast-to-coast basketball as each team was looking to control the tempo. And after an explosive second quarter, the Riders had pulled away a bit leading by 9 at the break.
Nothing was solved after a third quarter that saw both teams post 14 points, and the Riders took their 9-point lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, W.T. Chipman’s Shairee Best and Cameron Lewis started the Spartan comeback attempt. With outstanding penetration from guard Rae’Quan Houchens, it opened up room for both Best and Lewis to do work underneath.
After trailing by 9 for nearly half the game, the Spartans had cut the Rider lead to only 3 with 1:46 to go in the game.
For the better part of a minute, both teams traded baskets and misses and with only seconds left the Spartans trailed by 4 and were inbounding the ball.
With the game in the balance, Fifer’s Nhaighere Wills stole the ball at half-court with only 4 seconds left to secure the Riders win.