Meurer's buzzer beater propels Rebels to state tournament
Riverside continued its Cinderella run to a state tournament bid when Logan Meurer hit a 15-foot jumper as time expired, giving the Rebels a heart-stopping 46-45 victory over Salem in the 2A North Regional Tournament Thursday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.
The Rebels had the ball at their own baseline with 1.1 seconds left in the game and had set up a play for Alteeno Sain in the paint. The Greyhounds covered Sain as well as Riverside's second option, Caleb Waugh. Meurer, who set a screen for Waugh, took the end bounds pass and punched Riverside's ticket to the state tournament when the junior's shot ripped the cords as the horn sounded.
"I don't know how we are keeping it going," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "Salem played an outstanding game, but we stayed in it. It was another great finish. I'd like to win one easy, but I'd rather rather win them this way than lose them. I am really proud for the kids. People have called us lucky, but we have made our own luck. If it's a five or 10 point ball game at the end, that shot doesn't mean anything. All you really ever want to do is put yourself in the position to win, and we did that."
Salem held a 9-8 lead after the opening period of play. The Greyhounds held a 19-16 edge with 2:58 left in the half before Riverside went on a 9-0 run as Sain scored six points. Dylan Wright closed out the spurt with a three pointer with 34 seconds to go before intermission, giving the Rebels a 25-19 halftime lead.
Salem began the second half, outscoring Riverside 14-3 to grab a 33-28 lead midway through the third quarter, but Riverside fought back to pull to within 35-33 entering the final frame.
Sain started the fourth period for the Rebels with a three point play, igniting a 16-2 Riverside run that gave the Rebesl a 44-37 advantage with 2:58 left in the game.
Salem roared back, going on an 8-0 run of their own, capped off by J.J. Gray's floater in the lane with 21 seconds left, giving the Greyhounds a 45-44 edge. The Rebels set up for the last shot, but watched the Greyhounds slap the ball out of bounds with 1.1 seconds left, setting up Meurer's last second heroics.
Sain led Riverside with 17 points while Waugh added 13 more. Wright scored five while Meurer and Morgan Fletcher added four points apiece. Cole Winford chipped in three points.
Gray led Salem with 12 points while Kendall Smith recorded a double-double, scoring 11 points while snaring 10 boards. Colby Harbor added 10 points for the Greyhounds.
Riverside fell 57-32 to Rector in Friday night's semifinals. Rector led 14-8 after the opening period and stretched its lead to 28-13 at the half. The Cougars took a 41-21 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Cole Winford led Riverside with 10 points. Logan Meurer tallied seven, Alteeno Sain scored five, Morgan Fletcher and Brock Adams netted three points apiece while Kollin Stone and Victor Cerda added two points each.
Denver Knight led Rector with 13 while Mitchell Webber added 10 points.
Riverside dropped the third place game, 67-46, to Marked Tree Saturday afternoon. The Indians led 14-7 after the opening period, 34-24 at the half and 48-36 after three quarters.
Cole Winford led Riverside with 11 points, Caleb Waugh scored 10, Logan Meurer tallied nine, Alteeno Sain scored five while Morgan Fletcher tallied four points. Chase Jackson netted three while Dylan Wright and Jacob Jordan added two points each.
Thadious Moore led Marked Tree with 16 points, Allen Buchanan netted 13 while Chris Montague chipped in 10 points.
Riverside will open state tournament play as the number four seed from the North and will take on the number one seed from the West Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark.