Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside Coach Buster Campbell hopes this year's group of Rebels will avoid the second half slump that plagued last year's team following their Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament championship. If Thursday night's game with Crowley's Ridge Academy is any indication, the veteran Rebel coach has little to worry about.
Riverside dialed up their long range bombing attack, drilling six first half three pointers, as the Rebels bolted to a 36-14 halftime lead in the Rebels 55-41 2A-3 conference victory over Crowley's Ridge Academy Thursday night at Lake City.
Junior guard Garrett Weaver got the Rebels off and running with back to back three pointers to open the game and backcourt mate Cody Richardson also drilled two first quarter triples, including a buzzer beater to end the first stanza with the Rebels up 19-10.
The Falcons went stone cold from the field in the second quarter and failed to score until the 3:05 mark on a pair of free throws by Michael Davis, who led CRA with 13 points. The Falcons got their only basket in the second quarter on a Nathaniel Schanderel lay-up with 2:00 remaining until halftime.
The Rebels continued to scorch the nets, drilling two more treys, both by Weaver, in building a 22 point halftime advantage.
Riverside grabbed their biggest lead of the night, 40-14, when senior forward Jordan Adcock hit a 10-foot jumper at the 7:00 mark of the third quarter. The Falcons mounted one of their few charges of the night, scoring the game's next six points to pull within 40-21, but the Rebels responded when Weaver drained an 18-footer before Richardson swiped an errant Falcon pass and raced the length of the floor for a lay-up and a 44-23 lead with 1:47 left in the quarter.
Riverside closed out the third quarter with a 46-26 lead and coasted home as the Rebels upped their overall record to 18-6 while improving to 5-3 in conference play.
"We played a great first half," Campbell said. "We really dominated the boards. We kind of came out flat in the second half, but it's hard to keep your stinger out when you build a big lead like that. We knew this would be a battle. I am tickled with the way it ended up. I thought we shot well early and got on the boards. We are starting to run our stuff better and learn our roles. All of them are getting to where they can feed the post and get the kick-outs. Cody (Richardson) is running the point better and Weaver (Garrett) is making some post feeds, and Adcock (Jordan) is playing better defense. He is doing some much better rebounding and playing defense, which makes us a much better team. We are making progress. We talked about how last year we had a letdown after the NEA tournament, and didn't finish as well as we would have liked. We are determined not to let that happen this year."
The Rebels placed three players in double digits, led by Weaver who scored 19 points. Weaver also added five assists while finishing with four three pointers. Six foot eight inch junior Glen Glraham recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Richardson scored 10 points and added five assists while Adcock scored nine points, grabbed 10 boards and handed out five assists. Riverside finished the night 17-23 from the foul line and hit all six of their three pointers in the first half.
The Rebels will return to action Tuesday night when they host arch-rival Buffalo Island Central in a key 2A-3 conference battle at Caraway.
In junior boys action, Riverside rolled to a 39-20 win as Blake Hogan scored 13 points while Daniel McCormick added 11 points and five steals. Riverside blitzed the Junior Falcons early, racing to a 20-0 lead after the opening quarter. The Rebels held a 20-5 lead at the half before stretching their advantage to 35-11 entering the final quarter.
Sam Elam scored seven points and blocked four shots while Austin Davis added four points. Chris Hood and Bradley Fletcher chipped in two points apiece for the Rebels, who hit 4-12 from the foul line and connected on one three pointer.