Michael Stair saw the effort he wanted out of his team Thursday but not so much when it came to game time Friday.
Crescent Valley's sporadically solid play didn’t include a strong finish.
The Raiders couldn’t hold onto a late lead, and visiting Milwaukie scored the last seven points to close out a 65-62 nonconference boys basketball win.
CV (2-3), down to eight available varsity players due to injury, didn’t make the plays down the stretch to pull it out.
“We’re demanding a lot and asking a lot,” said Stair, the Raiders’ coach. “We didn’t have the energy we needed. We certainly didn’t defend like we needed to.”
The most costly of 11 second-half turnovers came in the final minute, when a pass went through a teammate’s legs and into the backcourt, giving the ball to the Mustangs (2-1) with 31 seconds left.
At that point, the Raiders were down one and had committed just two team fouls after halftime. CV was forced to foul five more times to get Milwaukie to the free-throw line, which took 17 seconds off the clock.
Dustin Stradley hit both foul shots to put the Mustangs up 3.
A contested Tariq Harris 3-point attempt from the right wing was all the Raiders could get in the air. The attempt was off the mark, and Milwaukie erased a six-point fourth-quarter deficit to get the victory.
“I know we’re better than how we performed tonight, that’s for sure. There’s things we need to work on in practice, work harder,” said CV post Preston Heede, who had a game-high 24 points. “I think we made bad mistakes that were pretty obvious.”
Heede said his team, himself included, took bad shots and made bad passes that aren’t seen in practice.
CV had a six-point lead on Spencer Boock’s transition basket with 7:23 remaining. Despite a few more turnovers, the Raiders led 62-58 on Anshul Prasad’s 3-pointer on a Heede assist with 1:36 to go.
Milwaukie’s Dylan Stradley answered with his fifth 3 of the game, and Harris missed two free throws on the other end. Aaron Talley’s floater with 47 seconds left put the Mustangs back ahead.
Milwaukie hit 12 3-pointers in all.
Stair said his team left too many shooters open and allowed the ball to be penetrated to the middle too easily. Up six in the fourth, he saw what he described as quick shots on three straight possessions.
“Things that I expect that we should know better, but we don’t yet,” the coach said.
Stair added that he hopes his team, which includes seven seniors, will soon be able to stabilize its up-and-down play in order to take advantage of what it does best: play with energy.
“They have to want to get better,” he said, adding that Friday’s result is a clear indication that his players need to be presented with more aggressive situations in order to succeed in a close game.
Heede scored the Raiders’ first eight points. He had 10 after one quarter and 14 at halftime.
“I thought Preston was very aggressive in stretches inside,” Stair said. “Preston has a very nice inside-outside game. I think if we can continue to have him assert himself on the inside, it’s also going to create some opportunities on the outside” for himself and others.
Harris added 19 points and Boock six. Harris and Seth King had two 3-pointers apiece.
Stradley had 20 points and Talley 15 for the Mustangs.
The Raiders were 9 of 16 at the foul line and the Mustangs 5 of 6.