Riverside Claims William Baptist Tournament Title
It has almost come to be expected for the Riverside Rebels to take home the championship trophy at the Williams Baptist College Invitational Tournament in Walnut Ridge, but it almost didn't happen this year, as the Rebels had to battle from behind to defeat Sloan Hendrix 50-46 to claim their fifth overall title Saturday night.
Riverside jumped to an early 4-0 lead, only to see the Greyhounds go on an 11-0 run to take an 11-4 lead with 1:29 left in the first quarter. Sloan Hendrix would hold the lead until early in the fourth quarter when the Rebels rallied to pull out the win.
The game was close throughout as the Greyhounds had a 13-8 lead after the first quarter. Sloan Hendrix stretched their advantage to 19-12 when Roger Dexter scored an offensive rebound bucket with 3:57 left in the first half. The Greyhounds grabbed their biggest lead of the first half, 24-16, when Cory Baldridge nailed an eight foot jumper from the left baseline with 1:14 left in the half. The Rebels battled back and cut the lead to four, 28-24, when Tyler Timms hit a long three pointer with only three seconds to go before the end of the first half.
Neither team could muster much offense in the third period as the quarter ended with the Greyhounds still owning a four point lead, 36-32.
Timms pulled the Rebels with two, 36-34, with a pull-up 10-foot jumper at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter. Timms then knotted the score at 36-36 when he drove the lane and scooped in a left handed lay-up with 6:25 to go in the game. Timms was fouled on the play, but as did most of the Rebels on the night, failed to connect on the free throw and the score remained tied.
Mitchell Wilson, who led Sloan Hendrix with a game high 16 points, hit a 10-foot running jumper to give the Greyhounds the lead back, 38-36, with 6:03 to go. Junior forward Jordan Adcock pulled Riverside even with a five-foot leaner in the lane to knot the score at 38-38 with 5:21 left. The lead was short lived however, as Wilson hit 2-4 from the charity stripe to give the Greyhounds a 40-38 lead with 4:47 to play. Dexter then grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in to give Sloan Hendrix a 42-38 lead at the 4:40 mark. The two teams traded buckets before sophomore guard Cody Richardson hit two free throws to pull the Rebels to within 44-42 with 4:02 to go.
The Greyhounds got their last score of the game when James Henry scored his only two points of the game to give Sloan Hendrix a 46-42 edge with 3:25 left in the game.
Riverside then scored the final eight points of the game to pull out the victory. The winning rally started when Adcock scored from the inside and then Richardson drove the lane to tie the score at 46-46 with 2:50 left. The Rebels took the lead for good when 6'7" sophomore center Glen Graham nailed two free throws with 1:54 left to give Riverside a 48-46 edge. Riverside then went to the free throw line seven times in the last 1:19 but could convert only two free throws to push their lead to four, 50-46. The Greyhounds however, could not connect from the field, while turning the ball over on three occasions as the Rebels held on to claim the tournament title.
Timms and Adcock led the Rebels with 13 points apiece while Graham scored nine and Richardson pitched in eight. Garrett Weaver scored six while Michael Lawrence added one. Riverside shot a paltry 10-26 from the free throw line while hitting 6-19 from beyond the three point arc. The Rebels finished the night 17-39 from the field.
Riverside placed three players on the All-Tournament team: Jordan Adcock, Glen Graham and Tyler Timms.
Roger Dexter pitched in 10 points to go along with Wilson's 16 to lead the Greyhounds. Sloan Hendrix hit 9-13 from the foul line. The Greyhounds were 1-7 from the three point stripe and hit 18-42 from the field.
"This was a great way to go out, to know your senior year the team took home the Williams Baptist College Tournament title," said Riverside senior guard Tyler Timms. "This is a great tournament to win and we are just glad we got something to look back on."
"It feels very good to win the tournament," said Riverside senior guard M.J. Emery. "We were seeded number one and we showed why. When we were down four at the half, I wasn't sure what to think, but we hustled and played very good defense and that was the difference."
"It was a sweet win," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "It was a very hard fought struggle. We struggled for points. We had some good looks, but they just wouldn't go down. You usually won't win when you shoot 10-26 from the free throw line, and Sloan Hendrix had some stick backs that really hurt us."
"We may not be scoring a lot, but we are not allowing a lot of points either," continued Campbell. "We are playing really good defense. We hit some big shots down the stretch, Tyler came back and had a real good game. Sloan Hendrix did a good job defensively on Jordan. We had a little trouble getting the ball to Glen. He was open some, and we missed him some. But this is a nice tournament to win. Maybe this will be a springboard for us for the rest of the season. Sloan Hendrix has a good ball club. Wilson is a really good player. This is a big win for us. We are really tickled."
"Riverside is hard to contain," said Sloan Hendrix senior point guard Mitchell Wilson. "They make you tired. Our big guy was containing their big guy pretty good until he fouled out. Their guards are extremely quick and they wear you out. Their guards were just quicker than we were. The fatigue got us in the end."
Riverside made it to the finals by defeating Hoxie 65-40 in the quarter-finals before downing Marmaduke 56-40 in the semi-final round.
Glen Graham scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Riverside over Hoxie. Jordan Adcock contributed 12 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out five assists while Garrett Weaver tallied 11 points. M.J. Emery had six points, Tyler Timms netted five points, had five steals and dished out a game high 10 assists. Michael Lawrence scored five points and grabbed six boards, Brandon Davis and Casey Hook netted three points each, while Cody Richardson had two points, six rebounds and five assists.
Hoxie was led by Ray Volner who had 11 points.
The Rebels led 14-10 after the first quarter, 35-23 at the half, and 50-36 after three periods. Riverside was 8-13 from the free throw line and hit seven treys on the night while Hoxie went 17-23 from the line and hit one three pointer.
Jordan Adcock poured in five three pointers on his way to 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead Riverside past Marmaduke. Garrett Weaver netted 12 points, Glen Graham scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots, Cody Richardson scored six, Tyler Timms added three while M.J. Emery netted one point. Riverside finished 6-9 from the free throw line and hit eight three pointers on the night. The Rebels finished 8-17 from beyond the three point arc and 21-44 from the field overall.
Marmaduke was led by Nathan Haynes who scored 10 points. The Greyhounds shot a miserable 3-22 from the three point line while finishing 15-44 from the field.
Riverside led 18-10 after the first quarter, 30-25 at the half, and 46-34 after three quarters.
The Rebels will return to action Thursday night as they will begin play in the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament on their home floor in Caraway as the number one seed. Riverside will play the winner of the Corning-Manila game at 7:00. The Junior Rebels will open tournament play Tuesday at 5:45 against Corning.