Cedar Ridge ousts Rebels in State Tourney semifinals

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cedar Ridge broke away from Riverside in the third quarter and went on to claim a 63-36 victory over the Rebels Saturday night in the semifinals of the Class 2A State Tournament at Marmaduke. The victory pits the Timberwolves against the two-time defending state champion East Poinsett County Warriors in a battle for the Class 2A State Championship this Saturday in Little Rock, while the Rebels end their season with a 24-16 record.

Logan Meurer drives for a basket as Hughes' Sylvester White defends in Riverside's 73-72 victory in the first round of the 2A State Tournament at Marmaduke.

Cedar Ridge began the game by drilling three consecutive treys to take an early 9-4 lead. The Rebels battled back and tied the game on a Caleb Waugh three pointer. Waugh followed with another trey to give Riverside a brief 12-11 edge before Spencer Reaves hit his third triple of the quarter to put the Timberwolves back on top 13-12. The two teams traded buckets to close the opening period, leaving Cedar Ridge up 16-14.

The Rebels took a 21-20 lead midway through the second stanza on an offensive stick-back by senior forward Dylan Wright, but Austin Reaves' three pointer at the 2:20 mark put the Timberwolves back on top by three. Spencer Reaves followed with a five-foot floater to push the Cedar Ridge advantage to five before Logan Meurer drained a trey from beyond the top of the key to cut the margin back to two. Cole Crabtree's free throw gave the Timberwolves a 29-26 halftime edge.

Wright began the second half with an eight foot jumper to slice the Cedar Ridge lead to one, but the Timberwolves got back to back buckets from Cole Crabtree and Spencer Reaves to push their lead to 33-28. Wright scored again to chop the lead to 33-30, but seconds later Meurer was whistled for a technical foul after retaliating from a push by the Timberwolves' Austin Reaves. Spencer Reaves connected on both technical shots and Cole Crabtree followed with a three point play on the ensuing possession, and suddenly the Timberwolves held a 40-30 advantage. Meurer picked up his fourth personal foul at the end of the third period with Cedar Ridge holding a 45-34 lead.

Riverside junior Ben Hensley scores two in the Rebel's come from behind victory over Hughes Tuesday night at Marmaduke.

Meurer fouled out with 7:58 left in the contest and the Timberwolves blew the game open, outscoring the Rebels 18-2 in the final frame to secure the victory.

Spencer Reaves led all scorers with 24 points while Cole Crabtree added 20 more. Austin Reaves pitched in 12 for the Timberwolves, who hit 14-15 free throws and drained eight three pointers on the night.

Wright paced the Rebels with 18 points while Meurer closed his Riverside career with 10 points. Waugh scored six while Alteeno Sain added two points. Riverside failed to get to the free throws line and hit four three pointers on the evening.

The Rebels advanced to the semifinals, edging Hughes 73-72 in a thrilling first round matchup before downing Gurdon 66-50 in Friday night's quarterfinals.

The Rebels trailed throughout the game with Hughes, falling behind 19-15 after the first quarter, 41-37 at the half and 58-53 entering the final frame.

Riverside trailed 63-56 with 5:28 left in the game following a thunderous dunk by Blue Devil Sylvester White. The Rebels began to peck away at the Hughes lead, starting with a pair of free throws by Logan Meurer and back to back fade away jumpers by Alteeno Sain. White connected on a pair of foul shots to push the Hughes lead back to three, 65-62.

Caleb Waugh brought the Rebels even with a long three pointer at the 3:13 mark. Hughes took the lead back, connecting on four consecutive free throws from Willie Williams and Joshua Hamilton. Kollin Stone's three pointer from the right corner narrowed the gap to 69-68 at the 1:36 mark, but three more free throws by the Blue Devils gave Hughes what looked to be a safe 72-68 advantage with just 34 seconds remaining.

Waugh's desperation three point attempt with nine seconds left was off the mark, but the junior guard was fouled on the play. Waugh connected on three consecutive foul shots to pull the Rebels to within 72-71. On the ensuing inbounds play, Wright was fouled away from the ball, and calmly sank both ends of the double bonus. The Rebels survived a pair of last second shots by the Blue Devils and escaped with the improbable win.

"I couldn't be prouder of a group of kids," said Riverside coach Buster Campbell. "We had a couple of kids come off the bench in Ben Hensley and Jacob Jordan who scored some big baskets. Brock Adams also gave us some big minutes. We played through a lot of foul trouble. We had ice water in our veins at the end, hitting five straight free throws to end the game. I give the kids all the credit. They never quit. It was a great ballgame. They all played great," added a jubilant Campbell.

Wright led Riverside with 18 points, Waugh had 16, Meurer scored 15 while Sain added 11 as the Rebels placed four players in double figures. Stone and Hensley tallied five points apiece while Jordan added three. The Rebels connected on 16-22 foul shots and buried seven three pointers.

White led all scorers with 25 points, Hamilton scored 13, Padisher Joshaway tallied 12 while Kevin Burgess chipped in 10. The Blue Devils hit 26-34 free throws and drilled four treys.

The Rebels had to fight from behind to overcome Gurdon in Friday night's quarterfinals. Riverside trailed Gurdon 15-14 after the first quarter, 29-25 at the half and 43-39 after three quarters before outscoring the Go-Devils 27-7 in the fourth period for the come-from behind victory.

Dylan Wright's offensive rebound bucket at the 5:56 mark gave the Rebels the lead for good, 44-43. Wright's bucket fueled a 16-0 Riverside run that gave the Rebels a 58-43 lead with just 1:50 left in the game. Riverside hit 14-19 foul shots in the final frame as they advanced to Saturday night's semifinals.

Meurer led all scorers, pumping in a game high 30 points for the Rebels.Wright pitched in 17 while Waugh added 10. Kollin Stone scored six while Alteeno Sain chipped in three. The Rebels hit 22-32 foul shots and hit two treys.

Dion Hawthorne led the Go-Devils with 19 points while Ed Hood added 10. Gurdon made five of nine free throws and hit three treys.

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