Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside looked to have all the obstacles to the 2A-3 Junior High District Tournament out of their way after Thursday night's semi-finals at Monette. The Rebels had just knocked off arch-rival and second seeded Buffalo Island Central while fourth seeded Turrell upset top-seeded and league champion Earle. In addition, the Rebels had beaten Turrell in both regular season meetings.
But the Rockets came into the tournament playing their best basketball of the season and showed Thursday night's win over Earle was no fluke, as they handed the Rebels a 55-39 setback to claim the district title.
The two teams battled to a 13-13 deadlock after the first period, but the Rockets held Riverside scoreless in the second period, carrying a 22-13 lead into halftime. The Rebels shot a miserable 0-11 in the second quarter from the field and went 0-5 from the foul line as the Rockets took control of the game.
Turrell built their lead to 15 points, 36-21, by the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 24 points in the final frame as they coasted to the championship.
"It was a very disappointing night," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "We have played so well all year, but tonight Turrell beat us in every way you can beat a team. But we had a great year. I don't think anyone expected us to win 23 ball games, be conference co-runner-ups and make it to the district finals. I just wish we could erase tonight's game and forget about it, but it's been a great season."
"This team has really jelled at the end of this season," said Turrell Coach Rodney Major. "We really played well tonight. I just wish we had a regional and state tournament to go play in. Our kids just got better and better as the season went on. I think if we can keep this bunch of kids together we have a great chance of winning a state championship somewhere down the line."
Blake Hogan led Riverside with 16 points while Daniel McCormick scored nine, all on three pointers. Dewayne Schraeder tallied five, Jacob Love netted four, Sam Elam tallied three while Josh Driver added two. The Rebels were just 1-8 from the foul line and finished with four treys.
Jesse Hodges led all scorers with 21 points while teammate Demarcus Woods added 14 for the Rockets. Turrell went 7-12 from the foul line.
Riverside advanced to the championship round by defeating Bay 44-36 in first round action. Sam Elam and Dewayne Schraeder scored 12 points apiece while Jake Love added 10 to pace the Rebels. Daniel McCormick tallied six while Blake Hogan added four. Riverside was 14-30 from the foul line and hit two three pointers.
Bay was led by Devin Griffin who scored 12 points.
The Yellowjackets led 10-7 after the first quarter before Riverside took a 20-17 halftime lead. Riverside carried a 32-22 advantage into the fourth period.
Riverside knocked off Buffalo Island Central 54-46 in the semi-finals behind Daniel McCormick's 20 point performance. Sam Elam also scored in double digits with 12 points. Jacob Love had nine points, four steals and four assists while Blake Hogan netted eight points and grabbed a game high 13 rebounds. Dewayne Schraeder added five points. Riverside was 16-25 from the foul line and made two three pointers.
Cody Smith led BIC with 17 points while Jeremy Smith and Brandon Atkeison added 11 points apiece. Josh Freeman scored three points while Matt Taylor and Heath Hawkins added two points each. The Mustangs were 3-10 from the foul line and made five treys.
Riverside led 19-9 after the first period, 26-21 at the half and 35-32 after three quarters.