Mustangs pull out late victory over Rebels
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.
BIC took control early, grabbing a 20-13 lead after the first period, despite Riverside's Alteeno Sain, who scored 12 first quarter points to keep the Rebels within striking distance. BIC's James Tate, meanwhile, threw down two thunderous dunks and scored 11 first period points of his own to give the Mustangs a seven point lead after the break.
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.
Tate began the fourth quarter with a three point play to give BIC the lead for good, 38-36. The game stayed between a four and seven point advantage for the Mustangs until the Rebels put on a late surge, aided by poor free throw shooting by BIC down the stretch. Sain's three point play with 20 seconds left pulled Riverside to within 49-47. After Josh McCormick missed a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining, Riverside rebounded and raced down the floor, but Braden Peaster's running jumper missed the mark and Tate grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Tate sank one of two free throws and Riverside's desperation heave fell far short, giving the Mustangs an important 2A-3 conference win in the heated rivalry between the two schools.
"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."
Tate led the Mustangs with 17 points while Brandon Lairsey scored nine. McCormick and Jeremy Smith scored seven points apiece while Davis and Diliynn Strickland added five points each. BIC hit just 12-28 free throws and made two three pointers.
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.