CARAWAY Matt Owens scored 23 points and Dustin Kelems added 22 more as the Riverside Rebels used a 51 point second half explosion enroute to a 74-63 non-conference victory Friday night at Caraway over the Brookland Bearcats.
After a lackluster first half, when neither team could build more than a five point lead, the Bearcats closed with a 9-0 run to lead 27-23 at the break.
Then the Rebels roared out of the dressing room as Owens and Kelems scored at will to ignite the Riverside offensive firework's display in the second half to pull away from the Bearcats.
Brookland tried to stay within striking distance behind the inside scoring of Andrew Newsom who led the bearcats with 19 points. Blake Beshiers and David Page contributed 12 and 10 points respectively to aid the Bearcat cause, but every time Brookland made a charge the Rebels had an answer. When the Bearcats closed to within four early in the fourth quarter, Rebels' Zac Reynolds nailed back to back three-pointers to give Riverside a double digit lead they would never relinquish.
"Our full court press was very effective," said Rebel Coach Buster Campbell. "We got beat some, but overall we forced a lot of turnovers. Kelms and Owens came up big for us and Reynolds sealed the deal with those two big three pointers," added the Riverside Coach.
Both teams were very effective at the free throw line as the Rebels connected on 21 out of 25 while Brookland made 23 out of 29 to keep the game from being a blowout.
Besides Kelems and Owens, the Rebels had one other player hit double figures. Zac Reynolds pitched in 13 along with five assists. Michael Dewitt scored 8; Joe Ellis 6; and Alex Smith added 2 to round out the Rebel scoring.
With the win, Riverside improves to 10-11 on the year.
In Junior High action, the Junior Rebels rode Jordan Adcock's 16 points in posting a 46-33 homecoming win over the Junior Bearcats.
Tyler Timms added 8, Brandon Davis and M.J. Emery 4 each, while Tim Lawrence and Cody Rea pitched in 3 each. Michael Lawrence, Garrett Qualls, and Jordan Phillips had 2 each. Kris Kelton and Caleb McCluskey rounded out the Rebel scoring with 1 each.
Brookland was led by Ryan Childers who scored 10.