Plant City faced off against Lakewood Ranch on Dec. 2 at the RP Funding Center.
The Plant City Raiders went up against the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs Saturday at the RP Funding Center, each with hopes to return in the following months as a final four team.
The Mustangs carried a slight lead for the majority of the game and came out victorious with a score of 79-63 against the Raiders.
Despite the loss, Plant City coach Billy Teeden said the experience was one for the books.
“It was a great experience for us,” Teeden said. “We had a chance to play in the Lakeland Magic, where they play the final four, against a final four team. It was a good experience for us. We needed this game.”
He said this was the team’s first “true test” of the new season and his goal is to continue instructing the players how to handle adversity on the court. One of the first things he plans to tackle is teaching the students how to avoid becoming too excited or too morose during the game.
The Raiders stayed neck-and-neck with the Mustangs throughout most of the first three quarters. The halftime score had Lakewood Ranch ahead 39-34. However, multiple turnovers, fumbles and fouls kept the Mustangs consistently in the lead.
Lakewood Ranch coach Jeremy Schiller agreed with Teeden that playing in the RP Funding Center was a great way to kick off the season. He added that he hopes to return for the last or second to last game to be part of the final four.
“For me it was nice to share it with Coach Teeden,” Schiller said. “We’ve known each other for, well let’s not say how long, but a long time. It was fun to share it with a coach I have a lot of respect for, with a team that was really good. It was just a neat experience for our kids and fortunately we came out with a win against a really good team. Opening the season with Plant City is a challenging thing to do. They’re very good.”
Plant City’s next game is against Bloomingdale at 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Plant City High School.