The Raiders came to the Jack Scott Tournament ready to play.
The Jack Scott Memorial Tournament pays tribute to former Rio’s athletic director, Jack Scott, who died in a plane crash in 1975. The tournament is in its thirty-eighth straight year and will be played in Rio’s gym, also named for Scott.
The tournament features Rio Americano and its two primary rivals, El Camino and Jesuit. The Eagles fell short of the Foothill Mustangs in their first round matchup of the annual tournament.
The Raiders defeated defending champion Center High School 66-44 behind a lights out shooting performance from junior Nick Tatar.
Tatar hit five threes to lead the Raiders to victory in the team’s first home game of the young season. The Rowdy Raiders filled the gym with cheers and screams, increasing after each Tatar basket.
Tatar is enrolled in an independent study program but is still allowed to play varsity sports for the school he attended freshman and sophomore years.
Rio also found amazing big man play from juniors Jordan Cloud, Chase Hammersley and Luke Moore. They were faced with the daunting challenge of guarding Center’s 6’9″ and 6’5″ big men.
Another standout player was freshman Matt Lyon. The little brother of Rio’s senior quarterback showcased his talents that will be the future of Rio basketball’s next four years.
He showed great ballhandling skills, court vision, and leadership. Although only a freshman, Lyon seemed used to commanding a team of players three years older than him.
Despite the win, the Raiders had two starters leave the game with leg injuries: Kyler Joaquin and Zach Suarez.
With or without the two injured forwards, Rio will play Monterey Trails, a team that beat the favored Oak Ridge in their first round meeting.