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RAYMOND — It was about revenge for Jabarie Robinson, and he and the Raymond Rangers got it.

The dynamic guard duo of Robinson and Tremaine Dixon got the Rangers past Lanier 79-69 in a key Region 6-4A contest, avenging a loss in last year's Class 4A state championship game. It was a matchup between the two highest-ranked teams in 4A, and the No. 1 Rangers didn't disappoint.

“They beat us in the championship game last year, so we wanted this one and this win bad,” Robinson said. “It feels so good to get a win back, but most important — it was a good team win.”

The first half was back and forth, but Raymond never trailed.

The Rangers held a slim 17-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 36-32 lead at halftime.

In second half, Raymond had an answer when Lanier cut into their lead.

In the third quarter, Robinson scored 13 of the Rangers 19 points to help extend the Raymond lead to 57-48 heading into the fourth quarter.

Dixon opened the fourth quarter with four consecutive points to increase the Ranger lead to 61-48.

Midway through, Lanier cut the Raymond lead down to six points at 71-65 following a Mark Drone lay-up.

On the ensuing Raymond possession, Chris Fuqua hit a three-pointer with 1:31 remaining and then Robinson followed with a pair of free throws to increase the Ranger lead to 76-65 with 1:10 remaining and seal the game.

“One thing we stressed today in the shoot around was dribble-drive and kick. We had several guys step up and make big shots,” said Raymond coach Tony Tadlock. “I believe guards are going to dictate games like this, and anytime they made a run, our guards stepped up.”

Robinson finished with 29 points to lead Raymond, while Dixon added 17 points for the Rangers (17-5, 5-0 Region 6-4A). 

Keymarius Lewis had 13 points for Raymond. The Rangers made 12 three-pointers for the game.

“We gave the guys freedom to make plays and with two veteran seniors we expect that out of them each night,” Tadlock said. “Lanier is a tough team and made some tough shots tonight, so glad we got out of here with a win.”

Mark Drone had a game-high 30 points to lead Lanier (16-6, 4-1). Willie Jones added 14 points for the Bulldogs.

“We knew they would play at home and make some shots at home,” said Lanier coach Lawrence Clark. “We did what we wanted to do they just played harder than us.”

Feature photo by Keith Warren