Town Crier Sports Staff
Senior night couldn't have turned out any better for Riverside, as the Rebels roared to an 80-51 victory over Manila Friday night at Lake City.
Garrett Weaver poured in a game high 30 points, including seven three pointers, while Glen Graham added 22 more and grabbed eight rebounds, as the Rebels improved to 26-8 overall on the season.
The Rebels trailed 10-7 late in the first period before Casey Hook's three pointer tied the game at 10-10 with 2:46 left in the quarter. Weaver gave the Rebels the lead for good with another trey at the 2:09 mark, and Riverside never looked back. Weaver closed the quarter with another three pointer to give the Rebels an 18-11 lead.
Riverside build their advantage to as many as 17 points in the second period as Weaver drilled two more treys while Hook also connected from beyond the three point arc and Graham added a conventional three point play. Riverside carried a 37-22 lead into the dressing room at the half.
Riverside continued to pour on the scoring in the third period to build their lead to 64-40 entering the final frame. The Rebels invoked the mercy rule in the fourth period, building a 31 point lead on Weaver's seventh trey of the night with 3:44 left in the game, putting the Rebels up 75-44.
"This has really been a special group of seniors," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "They have been winning games since they were in the fourth grade. They really played well tonight and went out in fine style on senior night. I am very proud of all of these kids. They have won two NEA championships and went to the state tournament last season. I think we have a lot of basketball left in us this year. If we play up to our capabilities, I think we can be as good as anybody come tournament time."
Hook finished the night with nine points, all on three pointers, while senior Cody Richardson had eight points and eight assists. Travis Mays and Bradley Tucker scored four points apiece while Nathan Eldridge scored three as all seven Rebel seniors got in the scorebook. The Rebels finished 19-24 from the foul line and drilled 11 three pointers. Sophomore Blake Wheeler led Manila with 20 points while senior Ross Malloy added 11. Trey McCormick scored six, Chad Nunnally had five, Tracey Reinhart netted three while Jonathan Rose, Kam Ashabranner and Spencer Cain added two points apiece. The Lions hit 8-10 free throws and made five treys.
"We ran into a very good team tonight," said Manila Coach Jason Durham. "They have all the weapons. They can hit the three pointer from the outside. Weaver can really shoot the ball. Then they have the big guy, Graham, in the middle. They are just hard to stop."
Riverside claimed the Senior B game 46-41 behind Cody O'Guinn's 16 points. Sam Elam scored eight, Nick Bagley and Tyler Warhurst tallied six points apiece, Blake Hogan and Dewayne Schrader netted four points each while Nathan Eldridge and Daniel McCormick added one point apiece. Riverside hit 7-17 free throws and made seven three pointers.
Zach Birmingham led Manila with nine points while Spencer Cain and Kam Ashabranner added eight points apiece. Manila, who was 7-7 from the foul line and made eight treys, also got six points from Tracey Reinhart while Frankie Cowgill netted five. Levi Wallace scored three and Joe Thompson added two.
Riverside began the week with a 72-33 thumping of Marked Tree. Graham led Riverside with 19 points while Weaver added 15 more. Hook, McCormick and Hogan netted five points apiece, Richardson and Warhurst scored four each, O'Guinn, Bagley and Schrader tallied three points apiece while Tucker, Eldridge and Elam added two points apiece.
Tyrone Doggett led Marked Tree with 11 points.
Riverside will open 2A-3 District Tournament action as the number two seeded team and will play Friday night at 7:30 in the semi-finals at the Mustang Athletic Complex. Their opponent is yet to be determined.