By SETH STRINGER
From a glass-half-full perspective, Bart Walker's crew still controls its own destiny to win the Panhandle Conference.
Yet the bad news is the Raiders (19-2, 4-2), fresh off a 53-49 loss at Chipola Wednesday night, have company at the top.
After two straight losses, the Raiders – ranked No. 1 in the state and second in Region 8 – are tied with Gulf Coast State at 5-2 in league play. Chipola, meanwhile, is tied in the loss column and just a half-game back at 4-2.
Nearly two-thirds into Panhandle play, the Raiders have split with Gulf Coast State and Chipola. The Raiders beat Chipola 63-56 at home in the first meeting and Gulf Coast State 75-67 on the road before losing 63-58 to the Commodores at on Saturday.
The Raiders will have the weekend off before hosting Tallahassee on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. The Raiders defeated the Eagles 70-63 in the first meeting in Tallahassee.