(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
Most Riverside-Bay basketball games are exciting down to the wire nail biters. Tuesday night's contest at Bay was not one of those times. The Rebels used the one-two punch of seniors Garrett Weaver and Glen Graham to crush the Yellowjackets 66-50 in front of a packed gym.
The Rebels started the third quarter with a precarious eight point lead, but quickly took control of the game. Bradley Tucker started a 12-2 run with a bucket from the paint before Weaver completed a rare four point play when he drilled a trey, was fouled, while finishing off the sequence with the free throw. Weaver and Graham combined for three free throws before Weaver nailed another triple which pushed the Riverside lead to 45-27 at the 3:26 mark. The Rebels took a 47-29 advantage into the fourth quarter and continued to pour it on the outsized Jackets.
The Rebs built their lead to 28 points when Tucker connected again from the inside giving Riverside a 61-33 bulge with 4:44 to go in the game. Riverside coasted home giving the Rebels a key road win in conference play.
"This is a big conference win which gives us some separation in the conference," said Rebel Coach Buster Campbell. "I think Graham is getting better every game and Weaver did a great job for us tonight. All our kids played well tonight, it was just a good win, especially on the road. Our defense played well tonight, we are making progress and are getting back to where we want to be. Bay has got a good ball team which has picked up some good wins, so this was a sweet win."
"We got into some foul trouble and Weaver hit some big shots that really hurt us," said Bay Coach Brad Brannen. "We needed to have been able to play man defense going into the fourth quarter to have a chance, but foul trouble wouldn't allow it. I thought if we could have played man, we were just one run away from having a shot at them. But Riverside is a great team. Weaver can shoot it, Graham hurts you inside and their role players know what to do. You have to play a great game to beat them, but I think foul problems cost us tonight. Riverside has all seniors, while we are young. We are getting better and we will see where we will be come January and February."
The Rebels led 18-7 after the first quarter but Bay battled back to cut the lead to five 26-21 on back to back treys by Wade Hamilton with 3:46 left in the half before Riverside responded with a 5-2 run to close the half with a 31-23 lead.
Weaver led the Rebels with a game high 22 points including four treys. Graham recorded a double-double, scoring 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Tucker finished with eight, Casey Hook tallied seven, Travis Mays scored five, Nathan Eldridge pitched in three, while Blake Hogan and Bryan Poe netted two points each. The Rebels connected on 19 of 32 free throws and nailed five three pointers on the night.
The win moves Riverside to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in 2A-3 conference action.
Jessie Harris led Bay (11-8, 4-4) with 10 points. The Yellowjackets made 7-14 free throws and hit four three pointers.
In junior high action Bay came away with a 36-31 come-from-behind win. Gunner Freeman poured in 21 points including a 13-14 effort at the foul line to lead the Jackets.
Riverside got 13 points from Jake Love while Josh Anderson scored seven. Luke Moyer netted four, Morgan Fletcher had three while M.J. Brewer and Cole Winford added two points apiece.
The Rebels led 12-9 after the first quarter and 14-13 at the half. Bay rallied to take a 19-17 lead into the final frame.
The Lady Rebels played host to Bay Monday night at Lake City losing the senior high game 72-57 while taking a 34-29 victory in the junior high contest.
Lacy Staten scored 26 points and Meghon Mink added 22 to lead Bay past Riverside in the senior high match up. The Yellowjackets drilled 15-18 free throws in the first half and finished with a 31-40 performance for the game to drop the Lady Rebels.
Katey Campbell led Riverside with a game high 27 points. Morgan Emery had eight, Holly Dudley scored six, Kassie Douglas had five, Christy Ward netted four, Kelsey Turner tallied three, while Brianna Driver and Michelle Cobb added two points each to round out the Lady Rebel attack.
Bay jumped to a 17-12 lead after the first quarter and held a 35-26 lead at the half. The Jackets led 49-41 going into the fourth quarter.
In junior high action Lauren Weaver scored 20 points to lead Riverside past Bay. Kyley Campbell and Beth Anne Snyder had three apiece, while Brittney Douglas, Kendra Staggs, Taylor Boness, and Rebbekah Frayer all added two points each.