NEWARK -- With 54.6 seconds left in the third quarter Wednesday night and the game lacking any meaningful suspense by that time, Montgomery's Alec Raven let his emotions show. Newark Memorial's Damien Banford, all 6-foot-6, 270 pounds of him, had done a masterful job of keeping the Vikings' best player a non-factor. The Montgomery people would claim that was because Banford did everything to Raven except put him in a head-lock. The Newark people would say it was just good, physical defense.
Whatever the viewpoint, Raven had enough of the contact. As the ball was contested between them, Raven swung wildly, his arm going off to the side. It was a hard slapping motion actually, looked maybe even like a swipe. Contact wasn't the intent of it. Frustration release was. Raven didn't make contact with Banford. And no foul was called. But that act of frustration, quite rare for Raven, was shared by his teammates and his coaches. If anything, it probably felt like a cathartic release for everyone from Montgomery to see Raven's arm fly through the air.
I'm tired of being ridden like a horse, was the message behind it. Get away from me. Get off my back.
"No matter what the situation," Raven said, "you should always keep your composure."
Newark Memorial Wednesday night got into Montgomery's head, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, anything that wore a red uniform and came away with a 54-26 victory in a NCS D2 semifinal that in style at least was not a thing of beauty. More like a thing you would see in wrestling.