Town Crier Sports Staff
It really doesn't matter where they play or what their records are, when Riverside and Buffalo Island Central get together, it's an all-out war. The two teams resumed one of the state's top rivalries Tuesday night at Caraway as the Rebels broke a four game losing streak to the Mustangs with a hard fought 62-57 2A-3 conference victory, leaving both teams with three conference losses.
Garrett Weaver poured in a game high 27 points while Jordan Adcock and Glen Graham both recorded double-doubles as the Rebels improved to 19-6 overall and 6-3 in league play.
Riverside took a 12-7 lead after the first quarter and after Adcock and Weaver nailed back to back three pointers early in the second period, the Rebels seemed to be in control of the game.
But Mustang senior forward Jordan Phillips brought BIC back with an offensive stick-back while being fouled. Phillips completed the three point play with the free throw and seconds later, following a Rebel miss, converted a driving lay-up to cut the Riverside lead to 20-17. Nick Birdno sank a 12-foot jumper to cut the Rebel lead to one, and after a Graham free throw, Phillips tied the score at 21-21 with another drive to the bucket.
Riverside regained the lead on a basket by Graham and the 6'8" junior followed that with another bucket while being fouled. Graham completed the three point play by sinking the free throw and the Rebels were on their way to a 31-27 halftime advantage.
The Mustangs opened the third quarter with a bang by ripping three straight treys in a 1:20 span, erasing the Rebel lead and putting BIC on top 36-32. BIC held the lead until Graham and Weaver scored back to back buckets to give Riverside a 41-39 advantage with 2:02 left in the third period. After BIC's Terry Roach tied the score at 41-41 on a short jumper at the 1:48 mark, Weaver drained another trey to put the Rebels up 44-41. Garrett Qualls' eight footer with three seconds left in the third period cut the Riverside margin to 44-43 heading into the final frame.
Qualls started the fourth period with a three pointer to put the Mustangs up by two, but Adcock responded with an offensive stick-back to tie the game at 46-46. The two teams traded baskets before Weaver put the Rebels up for good with a long range three at the 4:53 mark, giving Riverside a 51-48 lead.
Phillips scored from the inside to cut the lead to 51-50 with 4:20 remaining, but that was as close as BIC would get as Weaver hit yet another trey and Graham converted four straight free throws to push the Rebel lead to 58-52 with under 2:00 left.
The Rebels maintained their six point lead until Qualls was fouled while attempting a three point shot with 17 seconds to go. The 6'1" senior converted all three charity tosses, but Weaver sealed the win with a pair of free throws at the seven second mark.
"It was an ugly game between two good teams," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "It was not a very good game but we'll take the win. We wasted more possessions tonight than we have probably the last four games. We didn't do a good job of handling the basketball, but the one thing that saved us was our rebounding. Glen (Graham) and Adcock (Jordan) rebounded their heads off. That was the difference in the game. Weaver (Garrett) hit some big shots. We didn't do a good job of running our stuff. But it's a great win for us. It puts us right up there in the thick of things in the conference race."
"I thought Garrett Weaver really stepped up huge for his team and put them on his back," said BIC Coach Bill Taylor. "I thought he played really, really well for Riverside. I am proud of my guys for competing hard. It was a tough environment. Some strange things going on out there, but that's life on the road at any level. You're not going to get your way on the road. Riverside has an outstanding team. I've been saying that and everybody knows that. They don't need me to tell them. They seem to be playing at a different level than they were a year ago under the same circumstances when they won the NEA. They seem to be more mature and I give them credit. But my team is still alive. We're not dead. We competed well and had chances. Weaver's three pointers were just back breakers. We would have liked to have had better production from our posts, but they spent a lot of time sitting by me. That was frustrating. We couldn't get our post players untracked because of foul trouble. This conference is wide open and it's going to come down to the last night. It's like a little SEC at the high school level. Someone else is getting beat tonight, so we just have to go win our next one at Cross County on the road."
Adcock and Graham joined Weaver in double figures for Riverside with 16 and 14 points respectively. Adcock also snared 12 rebounds and dished out five assists while Graham pulled down 16 boards. Cody Richardson closed out the Rebel scoring with five points. Riverside hit 15-22 from the free throw line and drained seven three pointers on the night.
Phillips led BIC (13-10, 8-3) with 20 points while Roach scored 16 and Qualls added 12. Birdno scored five points while Lance Davis and Trevor Matheny added two points apiece. BIC was 9-14 from the free throw stripe and hit five treys on the night.
In the junior high game, BIC used a second half rally to knock off Riverside 42-32. It was the Mustang's first win over Riverside in three tries this season.
Cody Smith scorched the nets scoring 28 points for the Mustangs, who overcame a 12-10 first quarter Rebel lead and a 22-21 Riverside advantage at the half. BIC fought back to take a 29-28 lead into the final quarter before nailing down the win.
Brandon Atkeison scored seven points, Matt Taylor had five while Heath Hawkins added two to round out the Mustang attack. BIC hit 14-23 from the free throw line and hit two three pointers.
Sam Elam led Riverside with 12 points while Daniel McCormick added nine. Blake Hogan scored six points before fouling out while Jake Love added five. Riverside was their own worst enemy, managing just 3-17 from the foul line. The Rebels nailed three treys on the night.