Rector scored the first two points of Friday night's 3AA North Conference match-up against Riverside, but after that it was all downhill for the Cougars, as the Rebels spoiled Rector's homecoming with a 70-37 slaughter.
After tailing 2-0, the Rebels went on a 12-0 run and closed the first quarter holding a 14-4 lead. Things got even better for Riverside in the second period, as they shot a blistering 12-13 from the field to take a 44-20 lead into the dressing room, blowing the game wide open.
Zac Reynolds, who led Riverside with a game high 18 points, was scoreless in the first quarter, but then exploded for 15 second quarter points, including three straight treys, as the Rebels dominated the Cougars for the second time this season. The 6'0" senior also dished out seven assists, had three steals, and nailed four three pointers on the night.
Riverside used a smothering full court press that had Rector completely confused the entire night as the Rebels rolled to their 15th victory of the season against seven losses, while improving to 5-3 in conference play.
Riverside continued the onslaught in the second half and Coach Buster Campbell pulled his starters midway through the third quarter as the Rebels built a 53-25 lead entering the final frame. Riverside continued pouring it on in the final period of play and finished with a 33 point win, their most lopsided of the year.
M. J. Emery came off the bench to score 12 points while grabbing four rebounds. The 5'8" junior also had four steals and three assists. Sophomore Michael Lawrence also scored in double figures for Riverside with 10 points while grabbing five boards. Jordan Adcock tallied eight points and snared five rebounds, while Tyler Timms netted seven points and six assists. Cody Rea pitched in four points, while Bryce Eldridge and Brandon Davis scored three points each to round out the Rebel scoring.
The Rebels finished the night with 14 steals and seven three pointers. The only thing the Rebels didn't do well was connect from the free throw line, where they shot a miserable 11-29.
Jay Beacham led the Cougars with eight points while Aaron Morris and Nathan Wyatt scored seven points apiece. The Cougars, now 8-10 overall and 2-6 in league play, hit five three pointers on the night ande made 8-15 free throws.
"I was worried because Rector had played BIC within 11 points recently," Riverside Coach Buster Campbell said. "I thought we might not be ready since we had played our best game of the year against Rector at Lake City earlier in the year. I was afraid our kids might think it would be an easy game. Rector is capable of playing you tough up here, so I am tickled with our effort. It seems like Rector brings out the best in us. Maybe we need to play them more often. We did an excellent job on the boards and with our fast break. Everything goes good when you are hitting your shots. Going 12-13 in the second quarter from the field was incredible," Campbell said.
"We moved the ball well and did a good job with our high-low offense," Campbell continued. "Michael Lawrence played a very good game. I thought we did a good job defensively on them. The Wyatt kid (Nathan) had been lighting it up recently but Tyler (Timms) did a good job of shutting him down and keeping him from getting good looks. The only negative of the night for us was our free throw shooting, which was horrible. We have to do better at that to beat the strong teams. But all in all, I was very proud of our effort. Now we have to take care of business. We have two big home games next week against Walnut Ridge and Bay," Campbell concluded.
"We didn't shoot very well, didn't guard at all, and didn't rebound," Rector Coach Mark Manchester said. "You have to hand it to Riverside. They had a great game plan. They took us out of what we wanted to do, and we didn't adjust to it all night. I am very disappointed. We just didn't play ball," the frustrated Cougar coach said.
In junior high action, Riverside continued to roll through league play with a 59-35 victory over Rector. Glen Graham had a double-double, scoring 19 points while grabbing 14 rebounds in addition to blocking two shots. Garrett Weaver also pumped in 19 points as the Rebels led from start to finish in improving to 16-2 overall and 7-1 in conference play.
Rounding out the scoring for the Rebels was Travis Mays and Bradley Tucker with six points each, while Cody Richardson scored five points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists, and blocked two shots. Casey Hook and Jacob Saffell rounded out the Rebel scoring with two points apiece. Riverside finished 9-11 from the free throw line and had two treys on the night.
The Rebels led 17-9 after the first quarter, 32-17 at the half, and then blew the game open, leading 51-20, after the third quarter.
Jackie Graham and Daniel Hester led Rector with nine points each.
Riverside will return to action this week with two key conference games. The Rebels will host Walnut Ridge Tuesday night and then will take on Bay Friday night. Both games will be at "The Pit" in Lake City.