(Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)
"I got a small taste tonight of what the Riverside-BIC rivalry is all about," said first year BIC coach Garrett Eoff. "It feels great. I am very, very proud of the boys. We made some adjustments defensively at halftime and didn't make as many turnovers in the second half. If we don't turn the ball over, we're going to make enough shots to have a chance to win games. Defensive rebounding was the difference in the game at the end. You can't give a good team like Riverside second chances, because with their tradition, they will beat you. We also did a better job on Jake Love in the second half. He is a good, good player. You have to tip your hat to him. I thought Brent Ray and Adrian Mondragon did a good job of chasing him in the second half. This was just a great win for us."
Riverside led throughout the game until BIC took its first lead of the night, 44-43, on a Daniel Davis bucket with 1:42 left in the game. Jake Love put Riverside back on top, sinking both ends of a one and one, before BIC's Heath Hawkins answered with a bucket of his own with 1:09 remaining, giving the Mustangs a 46-45 advantage.
BIC played for the last shot, working the ball inside to Davis, who was fouled with six seconds remaining. After a Riverside timeout, Davis calmly sank both free throws, giving BIC a 48-47 lead.
The Rebels hurried the ball down the court in an attempt to put up a game winner, but the Mustangs forced a Rebel turnover and ran out the clock, sending Mustang fans into euphoria.
"When you go seven for 23 in the game from the paint, and four for 13 in the second half, you are not going to win ballgames," said Riverside coach Buster Campbell. "We have to be able to hit three footers. If you don't hit them you are going to get beat. They hit theirs and we didn't hit ours. BIC did a good job on Jake Love in the second half and we didn't have anybody else step up. We just didn't get the job done."
Love led all scorers with 26 points, 22 coming in the first half. Josh Anderson scored seven, Cole Winford and M.J. Brewer tallied three points apiece while Dewayne Schrader, Tyler Rolland, Jake Emery and Bryan Poe added two points apiece.
In junior high action, Riverside rolled to a 47-20 victory. The Rebels placed three players in double digits. Logan Meurer and Braden Peaster scored 12 points apiece while Alteeno Sain added 11. Rustin Peaster scored three while Ben Hensely, Jake Spencer and Robert Hale contributed two points apiece. Juan Trujillo, Zach Reece and Dylan Wright all added one point each.
Dilynn Strickland led BIC with eight points. Zac Chase scored six while Justin Barnes, Jacob Sanders, and Austin Mostrong all added two points apiece.
The senior Rebels ran past Corning 63-42 in the first round of the Williams Baptist Tournament Saturday night at Walnut Ridge. Jake Love led Riverside with 22 points while Cole Winford chipped in 17 more.
Riverside will return to the hard court when they face Hillcrest Tuesday night at 8:30 in the Williams Baptist Tournament at Walnut Ridge.