Riverside jumped out of the gate early and had little trouble disposing of an out-manned Brookland team as the Rebels overpowered the Bearcats 74-41 Friday night at Caraway.
With Riverside leading 7-6, the Rebels went on an 18-6 run to close the first quarter and take a 25-12 lead. Riverside stretched their margin to 46-28 at the half. Things didn't get any better for the Bearcats in the third period, as Riverside extended their lead to 63-36. The Rebels biggest lead came midway through the fourth quarter when they led by as many as 35 points. From then on, the mercy rule went into effect and for the Bearcats the game finally came to a merciful end, as the Rebels improved their season record to 13-7 while the hapless Bearcats fell to 3-15 on the season.
Riverside placed four players in double figures, led by senior Zach Ridge, who scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior guard Zac Reynolds nailed four treys on his way to scoring 16 points while also dishing out eight assists. Jordan Adcock produced a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards while also handing out five assists and picking up three steals. Michael Lawrence contributed 11 points. Tyler Timms had six points, handed out five assists, and pulled down four rebounds. M.J. Emery and Caleb McCluskey each scored three points while Cody Rea netted two to round out the Rebel offensive onslaught. The Rebels hit 13-19 free throws and hit five three pointers on the night.
Ryan Childers was the only Bearcat in double figures as he led his team with 10 points. Brookland finished 17-24 from the charity stripe while hitting four treys on the evening.
"This was two big non-conference wins for us this week," said Rebel Coach Buster Campbell. "Now it is gut check time. We really seem to be coming around offensively. We struggled some in the first half of the season, which made us have to play better defense. That could turn out to be a blessing for us, because we are playing good defense right now. I thought all along we would be a better team offensively this year, but we are just now starting to play more as a team. Tonight we made good passes which led to some nice assists. I thought our big guys finished well tonight, both Ridge and Lawrence. Brookland has a better ball club than this. They just had a bad night. We had a very good night shooting. Now we are ready to test the water in conference play and do some damage."
"The Riverside guys played great offensively," said first year Brookland Coach David Smith. "Defensively they blocked out and rebounded better than we did. We got away from our game plan. We were one shot and done. We didn't have an answer for the Ridge kid. He caught the ball on the block and would just turn around and stick it in. Riverside is a great ball club and played a great game."
In the junior high game, Riverside built up a 30 point halftime lead only to see Brookland rally and pull within five points with 24 seconds remaining before running out of steam as the Rebels held on for a 59-51 victory.
Garrett Weaver led the Rebels with 19 points, including three treys. Glen Graham dominated the inside with 17 points, while Cody Richardson scored 10 more. Casey Hook had six points and five rebounds while Travis Mays scored three points and dished out six assists. Bradley Tucker scored three points while Cody O'Guinn added one more for the Rebels. Riverside finished 13-20 from the free throw line and nailed six three pointers on the night.
Dustin Williams led Brookland with 13 points. The Bearcats were 9-19 from the charity stripe and hit six treys.
In seventh grade action, Brookland knocked off the Rebels 27-19 behind Logan Shipman, who scored eight points for the Bearcats.
Josh Driver led Riverside with six. Dewayne Schrader and Bryan Poe each scored five. Sam Elam netted two while Daniel McCormick chipped in one for the Rebels.
Riverside will return to 3AA North Conference action Tuesday night as they travel to Walnut Ridge to face the Bobcats, before traveling to Rector Friday night for another conference match-up with the Cougars.