LAKE CITY Riverside renewed its rivalry with Bay Thursday night at Lake City hoping to gain firm control of third place in the 3-A North Conference standings and a better seed in the upcoming district tournament.
However, when the dust had settled the Yellowjackets came away with a nail-biting victory, 47-44.
It was a hotly contested game throughout, with neither team able to take charge. Bay led after the first quarter 14-11. Riverside came back to take a one point lead at the half 21-10.
The second half was just as close, with Bay entering the final frame up 34-32. That set the stage for a thrilling fourth quarter with the led see-sawing back and forth.
The Rebels took their final lead of the game on a basket by Matt Owens with 1:30 left 44-43. But Ryan Prince answered for the Yellowjackets with a pull-up jumper to put Bay ahead for good 45-44. After a Rebel miss, Bay's Cameron Campbell hit two crucial free throws to give Bay a 47-44 edge with 33 seconds left.
The Rebels had one last offensive series, but couldn't get a clear shot and when Zack Reynolds' shot at the buzzer went away, Bay had escaped with the win.
Neither team shot well all night as both defenses were smothering.
"I can summarize the game with one comment," said Rebel Coach Buster Campbell. "You have to stick the ball in the basket and we couldn't. We did everything else well enough to win, but you have to put the ball in the hole."
Bay Coach Shawn Tillery also thought it was a very hard fought game.
"This was a big conference game for both teams and a huge win for us," Tillery said.
"I was proud of our boys. Our defense was great, as was Riverside's. It was an ugly game offensively but this is a big win for us, expecially at Lake City," Tillery added.
Both teams are now tied in league play with 5-5 records. The Rebels fall to 12-13 overall while Bay improves to 10-12.
The Rebels placed three players in double figures. Dustin Kelems led the way with 12, Ellis had 11, and Owens scored 10. Michael Dewitt hit for seven and Zach Reynolds and Zack Ridge added two each.
"I thought Joe Ellis played a very good game and both teams played hard," Campbell concluded.
Bay placed two players in double digits as Bret Hogan and Derek McMasters scored 10 each.
In the junior high game the Rebels pounded Bay 41-23 behind Tyler Timms' 12 points. Jordan Adcock also hit for double figures with 11. Caleb McCluskey hadd five, while MJ. Emery and Cody Rea scored four each. Tim Lawrence added three and Garrett Qualls pitched in two for Riverside who is now 16-3 on the year.
Bay ws led by Garrett Bollinger with 10.