Town Crier Sports Staff
When 6'7" sophomore Glen Graham nailed an 18 foot jumper with seven seconds left in overtime, it looked as though Riverside had pulled out a Homecoming victory over Bay. But the Yellowjackets had other ideas, as junior guard Garrett Bollinger raced the length of the floor before dishing off to junior forward Justin Hager, who just beat the buzzer with a reverse lay-up, stunning the Rebels 54-53, sending Jacket fans pouring onto the court to celebrate their improbable victory Friday night at Lake City.
Both teams had "The Pit" rocking as the game see-sawed back and forth with the lead changing hands multiple times before Hager(s basket gave the Jackets a crucial 3AA North Conference road victory.
"It is unbelievable to come here and win," said Bay Coach Brandon Craig. "I told the boys I don't know the last time Bay has come here and won. We have an outstanding group of kids that love to play ball and love to win. At halftime I just tried to motivate them as much as I could. We have a couple of kids who played really, really well tonight. Garrett (Bollinger) is a big leader on the floor and so is Seth (Southard). They both hit some big shots. Garrett's penetration at the end and getting the ball to Hager is what won the game for us. I am really glad there was no instant replay, because that was an awful long seven seconds, but I am thankful it was counted. I knew when Graham scored there was seven seconds left, even though the clock ran down to five. I made the officials aware of this and they put the two seconds back on the clock. I was disappointed with our free throw shooting down the stretch. I thought it really killed us. I had no idea Glen Graham would step out and hit an 18-footer. We were trying to cover everybody else. But he hit a big shot and I am just glad we were able to answer."
Riverside led after the first quarter 13-12 and stretched their lead to 26-24 at the half despite Bollinger's 12 first half points and a couple of NBA treys from Southard.
With 3:35 left in the third quarter, Craig was tagged with a technical foul, giving the Rebels a chance to expand a 31-29 lead. But the Rebels could connect on just two of four free throws, and failed to score on their inbounds possession, giving the Yellowjackets new life and some much needed momentum. When Tyrone Harris hit a free throw late in the third quarter, the game was tied at 35 entering the final frame.
Riverside jumped to a 38-35 lead early in the fourth quarter when senior point guard Tyler Timms hit a long three pointer off the right wing. After Bay pulled within one, 38-37, Graham scored on a power move off the glass and was fouled. Graham completed the three point play when he connected on the free throw, giving the Rebels a 41-37 lead with 6:00 left.
Bollinger brought the Yellowjackets back by scoring consecutive baskets, the last coming after a steal to tie the game at 41-41 with 4:00 remaining. Bay then took the lead when Southard ripped his fourth trey of the night to give the Jackets a 44-41 lead with 2:57 left. The Rebels battled back as Graham scored on the inside again and Timms came up with a big steal and banked home a five footer, giving the Rebels a 45-44 lead with 1:37 left in the game. Bollinger found Will Scott alone under the basket, putting Bay back on top 46-45 before Graham fed junior forward Jordan Adcock for a lay-in to give the Rebels a 47-46 lead with 45 seconds to play. Bollinger went to the free throw line with 25 seconds left, but could only connect on 1-2 free throws, leaving the game tied at 47-47.
Riverside worked for the final shot but Adcock's three pointer from the left corner banged off the rim as the game went into overtime. The overtime period went back and forth before the game's final frantic seconds when Bay escaped with the win.
"We had several chances to expand our lead, but we turned it over three straight times and shot 2-13 in the third quarter," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "People always remember what happens at the end of the game, but coaches know what happened all during the game. Their players hit some big shots done the stretch and our players missed some big shots down the stretch. We blew some golden opportunities at the end of regulation to win the game. We had some leads and I thought we were in control of the game but our mental intensity is not anywhere close to where it needs to be and in games like this it gets you beat. We had our chances and we didn't do it. We are failing to line up and run the plays that are called and we had some horrendous turnovers. We won't win tough games making mistakes like that. We can't continue to shoot the ball like this. We are just too good to continue shooting this way. This is our tenth game and we have had one good shooting game and we are still making mental mistakes that we made the first game. That is my job and we will still continue to work on it until we get it right. I give Bay credit. Bollinger and Southard are good players. They hit some big three's, especially in the first half that kept them in it. They got some sticks late. We just didn't take care of business."
Riverside was led by Graham who pumped in a game high 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Adcock finished with 18 points as the Rebels placed only two players in double figures. Timms had seven points while Cody Richardson scored three and Brandon Davis had one. The Rebels were 11-18 from the free throw line and hit four treys on the night. Riverside falls to 7-3 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Bay was led by Bollinger who scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Southard also finished in double figures with 14 points. Hager who had the game winner, scored nine. Bay was 3-8 from the line and hit seven treys on the night. The Jackets improved to 7-2 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Riverside began the week with a 49-46 non-conference win at Rivercrest. Jordan Adcock led the Rebels with 13 points while Glen Graham scored 12 points and added eight rebounds. Cody Richardson pitched in 10 points, while Tyler Timms had nine. M.J. Emery and Garrett Weaver netted two points apiece and Brandon Davis added one. The Rebels were 15-25 from the free throw line and hit four treys on the night.
George Blair led Rivercrest, 0-1, with 18 points while Maurice Gordon added 13.
The Rebels and Colts were tied 11-11 after the first quarter before Riverside took a 25-24 lead into the dressing room at halftime. The Rebels extended their lead to 37-34 after three periods.
In junior high action, Riverside dropped a 32-30 decision to Bay. The Rebels trailed 10-2 after the first quarter and 17-6 at the half. Bay increased their lead to 27-14 after three quarters. Riverside's furious fourth quarter rally fell just short as the Yellowjackets held on for the win.
Riverside was led by Casey Cameron who scored11 points. Cody O'Guinn and Josh Driver had six points each, Tyler Warhurst and Nick Bagley pitched in three points apiece while Daniel McCormick added one point.
Troy Brown led Bay with 16 points and Wade Hamilton added 10 more.
Riverside will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Monette as they renew their annual rivalry with Buffalo Island Central.