The Rickards Raider basketball team had been marching right through the Big Bend and District 2-4A to the tune of a 17-0 record. The Raiders the top team in the area as well as the state's No. 2 Class 4-A team.
But East Gadsden High School’s Jaguars put the Raiders and the rest of the state on notice that the rest of the year may be different with a 72-62 win over Rickards in the Raider gym Saturday night.
Leonardo Deloney led the Jaguar victory in the difficult-to-win venue, with 29 points. Marterricus Thomas added to the cause with 17 as the Jaguar backcourt duo took charge.
East Gadsden won the game with first and third quarter spurts. The Jaguars led 16-8 after a quarter. Rickards closed it to 27-24 by the half. The Jaguars came out with a strong third quarter defensive effort to up their lead to 45-33.
Both teams then put on an offensive show in the final quarter to top off the final score.
Deloney and Thomas were the only East Gadsden players in double digits, but the defense of D'Marnier Cunningham, Kelvin Derrico, Brian Robinson, Harrison Gibson, Antwan Matthews and Andre Robinson contributed much to the win.
"We wanted to come out and play defense and we did." said Jaguar head coach Demetric Salters. “We're starting to step things up defensively, and that's really a help in our streak."
The winning streak for East Gadsden has reached six as they defeated Chipley and Lake City in addition to Rickards last week. They are 15-4 for the season.
The Jags played in a district game at Godby Tuesday and will host Bay High Thursday. The team begins next week's final regular season week with a game at Florida High Tuesday.