(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
Valley View claimed their second straight Gerald Jennings Championship with a
61-44 win over Riverside in the senior high finals Saturday night at Gosnell.
The Blazers used a fourth quarter scoring surge, breaking open a five point game to take home the victory. Valley View led 42-37 after the third period, but outscored Riverside 24-7 in the final frame against a seemingly tired Rebel team, playing their third game in three nights.
"We seemed to run out of gas in the third quarter," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "The bottom line is when you don't rebound, you don't win, and we got out-rebounded 42-21, which is not acceptable. But I am still very proud of this team. This is our second tournament runner-up finish in two weeks, and we have done this with a short handed team. Valley View's number one (Ben Sanders) really hurt us tonight sticking several three pointers. We gave them too many baskets in transition. This is no excuse, but we just got tired. This was a five point game going into the fourth quarter, so the final score is not indicative of how tight the game was."
Garrett Weaver led Riverside with 25 points, including 17 in the first half. Blake Hogan scored seven, Casey Hook tallied six while Sam Elam and Tyler Warhurst added two points apiece. Cody Richardson and Travis Mays pitched in one point each. The Rebels were 13-21 from the charity stripe and hit three treys.
Dustin Jones and Matt Walters led Valley View with 14 points apiece while Ben Sanders chipped in 13. The Blazers finished 12-17 from the foul line and made three treys.
Valley View held a 14-5 lead after the first period before the Rebels rallied to pull within 26-21 at the half.
Sanders began the fourth quarter with a three pointer before Jones followed with back to back buckets to push the Blazer lead to 49-37. A Walters basket gave Valley View a
51-37 lead at the 5:14 mark. Riverside finally got on the board in the fourth period with a pair of free throws from Weaver with 4:59 left in the game to cut the Blazer lead to 51-39. Valley View followed with an 8-0 run to blow the game open, leading 59-39 with 2:49 to go.
Riverside advanced to the finals with a 58-46 win over archrival BIC in Thursday night's semi-finals. Garrett Weaver poured in a game high 22 points, including six three pointers to lead the Rebels, who held a 14-6 after the first period and a 26-21 lead at the half. BIC cut the margin to 39-35 entering the final frame, but the Rebels outscored the Mustangs 19-11 in the final quarter for the 12 point win.
Cody Richardson also hit double digits for the Rebels scoring 12 points while Tyler Warhurst came off the bench to add 10. Bradley Tucker and Blake Hogan scored six points apiece while Cody O'Guinn added two. The Rebels finished 14-22 from the foul line and connected on eight three pointers.
BIC was led by Jordan Griggs who scored 20 points while Matt Taylor added 16. Shane Barnes netted seven, Dalton Womack scored two while Lee Birdno added one. BIC was 6-9 from the foul line and made six three pointers.
The Rebels knocked off Marked Tree 66-34 in first round action Monday afternoon. Garrett Weaver scored 20 points while Cody Richardson added 14 more to lead the Rebels, who bolted to a 24-7 first quarter advantage. Riverside stretched their lead to
36-14 at the half and led 54-20 after three quarters.
The Rebels, who hit 9-14 free throws and made three treys, also got eight points from Cody O'Guinn while Blake Hogan scored five. Dewayne Schrader netted four, Daniel McCormick, Bryan Poe and Nathan Eldridge scored three points apiece while Tyler Warhurst, Sam Elam and Bradley Tucker each added two.
Tyrone Doggett and Richie Tate led Marked Tree with 11 and 10 points respectively. The Indians hit 6-15 from the foul line and made two treys.
Riverside (14-3, 4-0 2A-3) will return to action Tuesday night when they battle Earle in a key 2A-3 conference match-up at Lake City. The Rebels will play host to Marked Tree Friday night in another conference battle at Caraway.