Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside came into the 2006-2007 basketball season as a popular pick to win the 2A-3 conference championship. But a couple of early season losses put the Rebels behind the eight ball and Riverside finds themselves with their backs against the wall coming down the stretch run of the conference race.
The Rebels need to win the remainder of their conference games and get some help along the way in the other conference games to secure one of the top two spots and an automatic bid to the regional tournament.
Riverside got a start in the right direction with a convincing 65-36 victory over Turrell Friday night at Lake City. Garrett Weaver scored 16 points while Glen Graham powered his way for 15 more to help lead the Rebels to a much needed conference win.
Riverside (21-7, 8-4 2A-3) broke a 9-9 tie late in the first period by outscoring the Rockets 5-0 to take a 14-9 lead into the second quarter. Graham's power move on the inside, followed by a Weaver trey just before the buzzer, sparked the Rebel run.
Jordan Adcock started the second quarter with an inside bucket and following a lay-up by Turrell's Milton Moore, Weaver drained his second straight three pointer to push the Rebel lead to 19-11 at the 6:38 mark. The Rebels went up double digits on baskets from Cody Richardson and Graham, and when Graham connected on 1 -2 free throws at the 2:56 mark, the Rebels held a 24-11 lead.
Turrell tried to mount a comeback with back to back treys by Damien Elmore and Ben Hayes as they closed to within 28-19 at the half.
Riverside put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Rockets 25-13 to take a 53-32 advantage into the final frame. All five Rebel starters got in on the scoring act, including senior Michael Lawrence, who has been out of action with a back injury.
The Rebels emptied the bench in the final period, and Cody O'Guinn's three pointer in the last minute put an exclamation mark on the Rebel victory.
Richardson hit double figures for Riverside with 11 points and also dished out eight assists, while Adcock came up just short of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Lawrence finished with six points while O'Guinn and Casey Hook had three points apiece. Tyler Warhurst scored two points for the Rebels, who were 2-5 from the foul line and hit seven three pointers.
Turrell was led by Bruce Delaney who scored 14 points while Hayes added 11. The Rockets were 6-10 from the free throw line.
"We played well tonight," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "When we run our offense like we are supposed to, we are a very good team. Tonight we did a good job of going inside-outside, something we didn't do the other night against CRA. We passed the ball really well tonight and had a lot of assists. Michael Lawrence played well tonight. He got some rebounds and gave us some points. It helps to have him back in the lineup. Casey Hook played well off the bench. It was just a good overall effort from everyone. We will take this one tonight. There is still a lot of basketball left."
The Rebels began the week with a road trip to Paragould against Crowley's Ridge Academy, and came up short, losing to the Falcons 59-50. Steven Ramsey led three Falcon players in double figures with 20 points. Michael Davis had 13 and Alan Williams added 11.
Glen Graham led the Rebels with 16 points while Garrett Weaver added 14 more.
In junior high action, Riverside picked up a pair of conference wins, pounding CRA 50-26 before narrowly escaping with a 46-44 win over Turrell.
The Rebels will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Cherry Valley to take on the Cross County Thunderbirds in 2A-3 conference play. Riverside will return home Thursday night to face first place Earle in a crucial conference matchup at Caraway.