Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside pulled off what no other team has been able to do all season long. The Rebels took on undefeated Cedar Ridge Friday night in the semi-finals of the 2A North Regional Tournament at Cross County, ending the Timberwolves 39 game winning streak with a come from behind 63-52 victory.
The Rebels entered the fourth quarter down 46-45, and after a pair of free throws by Cedar Ridge's Matt Henderson, fell behind by three at the 7:15 mark. Glen Graham's five footer pulled the Rebels to within one, before Garrett Weaver gave Riverside the lead for good on a 12-foot jumper with 5:49 to play. Cody Richardson's three point play at the 5:28 mark pushed the Rebel lead to 52-48, and when Casey Hook dropped in a five-footer at the 4:34 mark, Riverside had completed a 9-0 run to take a 54-48 lead.
Brady Batson finally broke Cedar Ridge's three minute scoring drought with a free throw to cut the Riverside advantage to five. Following a Rebel miss, the Timberwolves Jordan Hatler connected on both ends of a one and one to trim the Riverside lead to 54-51.
Riverside scored the game's next seven points, with five coming from the foul line, including three free throws by Travis Mays and a pair by Richardson to up the Rebel margin to 61-51. Cedar Ridge would add another free throw from Cody Murphree, but that was the last point the Timberwolves would get as the Rebels held Cedar Ridge without a field goal in the final frame.
"This is the one we have been waiting for," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "This is a big win. I can't think of anybody who didn't play well tonight. Casey Hook may have played his best game of the year. Maybe this will be the game that gets us going the rest of the way."
"We gave up too many second chance points," said Cedar Ridge Coach Stephen Gould. "You give a good team that many shots, and you aren't going to win. We have been down a bunch this year, and we didn't panic, but we just couldn't get a shot to fall. All the credit to Riverside, they did a heck of a job tonight."
The Timberwolves stormed out to a 12-3 lead to open the game behind three treys from senior guard Josh Bridgeman. Riverside cut the margin to 15-12 when Weaver and Hook hit back to back treys and Richardson followed with a five foot runner. Cedar Ridge pushed their advantage back to six with a three pointer by Nick Jackson before Hook's offensive stick-back pulled the Rebels to within 20-16.
Cedar Ridge increased their lead to 27-18 on back to back buckets by Hatler midway through the second stanza before Riverside went on an 11-2 run to tie the game, 29-29, at the 2:48 mark. The Timberwolves outscored the Rebels 7-2 to close the half, taking a
36-31 lead into the dressing room.
The Rebels remained close throughout the third quarter, but could never grab the lead. A 10-footer by Batson gave the Timberwolves a 46-40 lead late in the period before Riverside scored the last five points of the quarter to pull within one.
Riverside placed four players in double figures, led by Richardson's 16 points. Graham scored 15, Weaver netted 14 while Hook added 11. Mays netted three while Bradley Tucker and Blake Hogan added two apiece. The Rebels hit 18-24 free throws and made three treys.
Bridgeman led Cedar Ridge with 19 points, including four three pointers. Hatler finished with 10 points. The Timberwolves hit 10-16 free throws and drilled six treys on the night.