It was a vintage Riverside-Buffalo Island Central basketball game, exciting from start to finish. Riverside's Jake Love ended the drama with a pull-up 18-foot jumper at the buzzer, giving the Rebels a heart-stopping 55-53 victory before a raucous crowd Friday night at Caraway.
The Rebels called timeout with five seconds showing on the clock, setting up Love's heroics in the final frantic seconds. The 5'10" senior point guard took the in-bounds pass after the timeout and quickly raced down the floor before letting fly with his buzzer beater from just inside the three point line to give Riverside the thrilling victory.
"Everything just seemed to open up for me when I came down the court, and I just pulled up and shot it," said Love. "No one seemed to come after me until right before the shot. I think I was fouled before I got the shot off but fortunately it went in anyway. But I have to give this one to Jake Emery. If he hadn't hit those three pointers we wouldn't have won tonight. It was a good win for us."
"I really didn't want the timeout," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "I like to get the ball inbounds and not give the opponent a chance to set their defense. But this time it worked out. Jake is very fast and has no trouble getting the ball up the court in five seconds. It was a clutch shot and a big win for us."
"Both teams played a great game," said BIC Coach Garrett Eoff. "Love made a heck of a shot at the end. We thought Brent (Ray) had fouled him as hard as he could, but he made the shot anyway. It was just a classic BIC-Riverside game. It came down to the end. Both teams made plays. I am very proud of the kids, they played really hard all night."
The game see-sawed back and forth in the first period with BIC holding a narrow 16-15 edge at the break. A 10-foot bank shot by Love gave the Rebels a 22-20 lead with 4:27 left in the half, but the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run, capped off by an offensive stick-back by Daniel Davis with 1:37 to go before intermission, giving the Mustangs a 29-22 lead. M.J. Brewer broke the Mustang run with a free throw and when Morgan Fletcher hit a reverse lay-up at the buzzer, the Rebels had sliced the BIC lead to 29-25 at the half.
BIC held the lead throughout the third quarter and led by as many as seven points, 39-32 with 1:30 remaining. But Riverside's Jake Emery came off the bench and hit back to back jumpers, including a three pointer, with 25 seconds left before the end of the period to pull the Rebels to within 39-37 entering the final frame.
Riverside stayed close in the final period behind the three point shooting of Emery, who hit three treys in the last quarter, setting up the game's final hectic moments. "Jake really came through for us in the second half," said Campbell.
"I always feel like I can shoot them no matter how hot I think I am," said Emery. "I shot a few and made them and then I shot one and air-balled it, but coach always tells me to keep shooting, and that's what I did. But that last shot by Jake was the big one. It was pretty awesome."
Love led the Rebels with 15 points while Emery finished with 14, all in the second half. Riverside (6-3, 1-1 2A-3) also got eight points from Cole Winford, who hit a pair of treys. Josh Anderson scored six, Alteeno Sain netted five, Logan Meurer tallied four while Morgan Fletcher chipped in two. M.J. Brewer added one to round out the Rebel scoring.
Jeremy Smith, Daniel Davis and Wes Colbert all scored 10 points apiece to lead the Mustangs. James Tate scored seven, Brent Ray tallied five, Ben Cole netted four, Logan Dewitt contributed three while Dilynn Strickland and Zac Riley added two points apiece.
Both teams hit six three pointers. The Rebels made 6-9 free throws while the Mustangs connected on 10-16 charity tosses.
Riverside began the week, traveling to Marmaduke but came up short, losing 51-45 to the Greyhounds. Morgan Hawley scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Kasey Reagans chipped in 12 more to lead the Greyhounds, who hit 16-20 free throws on the night.
Jake Love topped Riverside with 16 points while Josh Anderson added 12. Riverside won the junior high contest 61-27.
BIC traveled to Maynard Tuesday night and fell to the Tigers 70-68. Jeff Skudlark scored a game high 27 points while Clint Vandergriff added 17 more to lead the Tigers.
Daniel Davis led the Mustangs with 19 points while James Tate poured in 16 more. Ben Cole and Jeremy Smith scored nine points apiece, Brent Ray tallied seven, Wes Colbert contributed five while Logan Dewitt added three.
The game was decided at the free throw line, where Maynard hit 16-19 charity tosses, compared to BIC who shot only six times, hitting two.
The game was tied 20-20 after the first quarter before Maynard took a 39-33 lead into the dressing room at the half. The Tigers held a 56-51 advantage entering the final quarter.