It was a typical Riverside-Buffalo Island Central battle Friday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex, but in the end, the Mustangs pulled out a thrilling 50-47 victory in senior boys basketball action.
Riverside rallied in the second quarter, outscoring BIC 10-4 to pull to within 24-23 heading into halftime. The Rebel rally was sparked by a tenacious press that forced eight second quarter turnovers by the Mustangs.
Riverside continued its surge early in the third period, and grabbed a six point lead on a pair of Cole Winford free throws with 4:27 left in the quarter. An offensive stick-back by Daniel Davis with 51 seconds left gave the Mustangs a 35-34 lead, but two free throws by Morgan Fletcher at the 10 second mark gave the Rebels a 36-35 edge heading into the final frame.
"It seems like every time Riverside and BIC get together, it comes down to who can make the plays in the fourth quarter and who has the ball in the end," said BIC Coach Garrett Eoff. "I hated that Logan Meurer was not able to play for Riverside, but his teammates really picked up the slack and played very well. We got some senior leadership in the fourth quarter with some big defensive rebounds. That was a big free throw at the end by Tate, who played a heck of a game," concluded Eoff, whose team improved to 8-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.
"I'm not taking anything away from BIC, but we're not a very good basketball team right now, and I take full credit," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "We don't handle our possessions like we should. We don't make good decisions. We can't even pick up our substitutions, so we aren't going to win many ballgames until we learn to do that. It was a typical Riverside-BIC ballgame, but we don't need a low scoring game like it was tonight. We made just enough mistakes to get beat."
Riverside was led by Sain, who poured in a game high 25 points while grabbing 12 boards. Winford and Caleb Waugh had eight points apiece, Fletcher tallied four while Peaster added two. The Rebels hit 15-22 foul shots and also made two three pointers on the night.
In junior high action, Riverside fell to BIC 41-31. Austin Pike led the Mustangs with 18 points while Jerry Cazares scored eight. Alan Carmichael and Tyler Myers tallied four points apiece, Stan Fowler netted three while Johnathan Mondragon and Trevor Couch added two points each.
Kollin Stone led all scorers with 21 points for Riverside. Victor Cerda tallied five, Gavin Stone netted three while Brandon Sain pitched in two points.
BIC will travel to Walnut Ridge Tuesday night to take on the Bobcats while Riverside journeys to Bay to play the Yellowjackets Monday night. The Rebels will also begin play in the Williams Baptist College Tournament, which runs Nov. 26-Dec. 3.