Marmaduke High School is home of the Greyhounds, but for the last three years the Riverside Junior High Boy's Basketball team has made it seem like Riverside North, as they claimed their third straight Marmaduke Invitational Tournament title Saturday afternoon on the Greyhounds' home floor by beating host Marmaduke 52-43.
Buster Campbell's junior Rebels, who haven't lost a game since the 2002 district championship game, built up a 20 point lead late in the third quarter and coasted home to take the tournament title.
Marmaduke gamely pecked away at the Rebel lead and cut the margin to 48-43 with 1:00 left in the final frame before the Rebels put the game away at the free throw line, as point guard Garrett Weaver hit three of four down the stretch to preserve the win.
Riverside led 15-10 after the first quarter and 30-23 at the half. Riverside then built their lead to 20 points, before settling for a 17 point lead after three quarters, 46-29. The Rebels then went cold from the field and watched the Greyhounds make one last charge, led by Dustin Ellis and Chris Forsythe who scored 12 and 11 points respectively. But in the end, the Rebels proved too much, as they improved their record to 4-0 on the season.
"We are tickled to win our third straight title here at Marmaduke," Head Coach Buster Campbell said. "We built a big lead, then Cody (Richardson) got in foul trouble and we started taking some bad shots. We can't afford to have Richardson in foul trouble. We have got to get better, but we gave a good effort and I am proud of this team. We are a little rusty right now, but we will get there as the year goes on,"Campbell concluded.
"Riverside is very good,"Marmaduke Head Coach Steve Richey said. "They have a good post player and a good point guard, and that's what any coach wants to have to build a good team around. The other Riverside players know their roles, and when they score, it really hurts any game plan you have to try to slow the other two down," Richey said.
"I thought our kids played tentatively and a little scared at first,"Richey continued. "But I was proud of the way our kids fought back. We never quit," Richey concluded.
Riverside was led in scoring by Garrett Weaver who had 19 points. Weaver also had seven assists and five steals. Glenn Graham scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in dominating the inside for the Rebels. Other Rebels in the scoring column were Casey Hook with six points, Cody Richardson with four points, two assists and five steals, Travis Mays with three points and eight assists, and Bradley Tucker with two points. Riverside went to the free throw line 11 times, connecting on eight, while hitting two treys on the afternoon.
Marmaduke, 2-1, was led by Ellis and Forsythe, but also got eight points apiece from Trent Smith and Jacob Mason. The Greyhounds hit 12-17 from the charity stripe and nailed five three pointers on the day.
The Rebels, who came into the tournament as the number one seed, and drew a first round bye, defeated Bay in the semi-finals 57-30, despite the fact that Glenn Graham did not play due to a sprained ankle. It mattered little, as the Rebels placed 11 players in the scoring column in rolling over the out-manned Yellowjackets.
Riverside jumped to a 22-2 first quarter lead and stretched the margin to 32-5 by the half. The Rebels emptied their bench in the second half in coasting to the victory.
Riverside was led in scoring by Garrett Weaver with 15 points. Casey Hook scored eight, Travis Mays had six, and Bradley Tucker and Casey Cameron netted five points each. Justin Kellems, Nathan Eldridge, and Tyler Warhurst all scored four points, Cody Fletcher added three, Cody Richardson scored two, and Jacob Saffell chipped in one point to round out the Rebel offensive onslaught. The Rebels managed only 5-15 at the free throw line, but nailed eight three pointers.
Bay was paced by Zach Seymour with 10 points. The Jackets hit 3-4 at the charity stripe and managed just one trey on the night.
The Junior Rebels will face Brookland in non-conference action Tuesday night on the road, before traveling to Maynard for their conference opener Friday night.