Riverside Head Coach Buster Campbell took his troops on a weekend trip to the hills of North Central Arkansas to open the 2004-2005 basketball season. Neither game was pretty, but the Rebels came away with two hard fought victories.
On Friday night, the Rebels staged an improbable comeback, rallying from 18 points down midway through the third quarter, to pull out a thrilling 58-54 overtime victory at Lynn over the Screaming Eagles of Hillcrest High School. The Rebels had a little easier time on Saturday morning as they downed the Timbo Tigers, 57-44, in a game played at Evening Shade High School in the gym built by actor Burt Reynolds, who starred in the 1980's sitcom "Evening Shade." Friday's game looked like a blow out for the Screaming Eagles, who are in their first year as a consolidated school of the former Lynn and River Valley School Districts. After falling behind by 18 points, the Rebels then went to their full court press and immediately forced Hillcrest into
several turnovers, as Riverside went on a 15-0 run to pull within three points. Hillcrest finally made a free throw to break their drought, before the Rebels tied the score at 42 in the final minute of the third quarter. Riverside finally took the lead, 47-45, late in the fourth quarter, before the Screaming Eagles got an inside basket from Shawn Durham to tie the score at 47-47 with 1:45 left in the game. The Rebels then tried to play for the last shot, but turned the ball over with less than 20 seconds left to play, giving Hillcrest a chance to win the game and avoid the overtime. However, the Screaming Eagles last second shot failed to draw iron, and the game went into overtime, where the Rebels took control to pull out the 58-54 win. Riverside placed two players in double figures, led by senior guard Zac Reynolds' team high 25 points, which included five three pointers. Post man
Zac Ridge added 14 to the Rebel cause. M.J. Emery came off the bench to give the Rebels a huge spark, both offensively and defensively, in finishing with nine points. Tyler Timms scored four, Brandon Davis, who also played big off the bench for the Rebels added three, while Jordan Adcock scored two and Tim Lawrence added one. The Rebels finished 20-30 at the free throw line, and nailed six treys on the night. Hillcrest, 0-1, was led by Daniel Bates' game high 26 points, including five three pointers. Durham also had double figures for the Screaming Eagles with 12 points. Hillcrest was done in by a terrible night at the
free throw night, going a paltry 6-19. "Being down by 18 points and pulling out the win, that was a great comeback," said Riverside Head Coach Buster Campbell. "I am sure a lot of people left and will look in the paper and be very surprised to see that we won the game. You have to give our kids a lot of credit for coming back, but on the other hand, that is the same bunch that got buried in the first half. We have to improve on that. Emery had an excellent game tonight, and Davis also came off the bench and played well." On Saturday morning, Riverside and Timbo both came out sluggish, playing to an ugly 7-7 tie after the first quarter. The Rebels grabbed the lead at halftime, 26-17, before forging ahead 37-24 after three quarters. Sophomore Jordan Adcock exploded in the second half, and finished with a game high 25 points in leading the Rebels to the win. Reynolds pumped in 18 more, as Riverside placed two players in double figures. Ridge scored five, Lawrence had four, Timms and Emery scored two apiece, while Davis added one to round out the Riverside attack. The Rebels went 12-20 at the line, and nailed five three pointers. Anderson and Cartwright led Timbo with 10 points each. The Tigers finished 10-18 from the charity stripe, and hit four three pointers on the morning. "We played as well as we had to," said Campbell. "When we were up 10
points, we played like we were up 10, instead of making every possession count. We would build a lead and then allow them to get a wide open look for a three pointer to keep them in the ball game. We are a little behind right now from where I thought we would be, but we will get there. I thought Adcock did much better today. He has to score for us." "I will give it to you straight. Right now, here's where we are. When our shots are falling, we are playing pretty good. When they are not, the rest of our game is falling apart. But we made progress today (Saturday). We just have to get some consistency. Our press was better today. We were able to get quite a few turnovers," concluded Campbell. The Rebels, 2-0, will play two non conference games this week, first traveling to Valley View on Tuesday night, before playing their home opener Friday night at Caraway against Manila.