Rebels bring home 8th WBC Tournament title
Riverside captured its eighth Williams Baptist College Tournament Championship with a thrilling 45-44 victory over Pocahontas in Wednesday night's finals at Walnut Ridge.
Junior forward Kollin Stone sank four consecutive free throws in the last 21 seconds to give the Rebels a 45-42 lead. The Redskins had one last chance to send the game into overtime, but Clark Brewington's three pointer missed the mark. The two teams battled for the rebound before Brewington's tap in at the buzzer set the final score.
"We are very excited and proud to win this tournament again," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell.
"I think this is our eighth time, which is quite an accomplishment. This is a quality event. There were some really good teams here this year, including Westside and Bay. I am very proud of our kids and the effort they gave."
In the early going, it looked as though neither team would find the basket. Brewington finally connected on a 15-foot jumper at the 3:53 mark, giving the Redskins a 2-0 lead. Devon Austin put the Rebels on the board with 3:15 left to play in the quarter, and Riverside took the lead on a Victor Cerda bucket at the 47 second mark. But Nick Smith drained a three pointer to give Pocahontas a 6-5 edge after the first break.
The Rebels warmed up in the second quarter, drilling three treys, one each by Caleb Waugh, Brandon Sain and Cerda to take a 16-12 lead. Pocahontas fought back and took a 19-18 halftime advantage when Brewington hit a long three pointer with one second left in the half.
Sain gave Riverside a 20-19 lead to begin the third period on an inside bucket and the Rebels built their lead to 34-26 when Cerda ripped a three pointer, followed by three Waugh free throws. The Redskins scored the last two points of the quarter to trail by six heading into the final frame.
Pocahontas began the fourth quarter with back to back treys from Cory Kazmarski and Brewington to tie the score at 34-34. Nick Smith's five foot floater put the Redskins on top for the last time at the 5:53 mark, 36-34.
On the Rebels next possession, Austin stepped back and buried a three pointer from deep in the right corner to put the Rebels ahead for good, 37-36. Riverside led by three before Smith's offensive stick-back at the 2:14 mark pulled the Redskins to within 41-40. Pocahontas chose to foul and Stone delivered, hitting the game winning free throws down the stretch.
Austin led Riverside with 11 points while Waugh and Cerda added 10 points apiece. Stone and Sain both pitched in seven points each. Riverside hit 8-9 free throws and drilled five three pointers on the night.
Brewington paced the Redskins with 13 points while Nick Smith and Keith Smith added 10 points apiece. Pocahontas made 8-10 foul shots and hit six treys.
Austin, Stone and Waugh were all named to the WBC All-Tournament team for Riverside.
The Rebels began the week with a 72-47 2A-3 conference victory over McCrory. Stone delivered a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sain scored 12 points while Waugh added 11.
Riverside held a 12-8 lead after the opening period and took a 33-20 advantage into the dressing room at the half. The Rebels put the game away in the third quarter, and led 53-33 entering the fourth period.
In junior high action, Riverside improved to 13-5 and 5-0 in league play with a 56-28 thumping over the Jaguars. Dylan Davis led the Rebels with 13 points while Canon Walling pitched in 11 more.
Riverside is scheduled to play Highland Saturday, Dec. 21, in the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament. A Rebel win will pit Riverside against defending 2A State Champion Cedar Ridge Thursday, Dec. 26, at 6 p.m.
The Lady Rebels knocked off McCrory 73-47 Monday night on the road. Kenzley Wilson pumped in 21 points, dished out 10 assists and snared seven rebounds to lead Riverside. Skylar Kauke had 11 points while Anna Brickell chipped in eight points and 15 rebounds.
Riverside (10-3 3-2 A2) led 22-9 after the first quarter, 34-25 at the half and 53-36 after three periods of play.
Micaela West led the Lady Jaguars with 17 points.
Riverside defeated Cross County 62-35 in a 2A-3 conference matchup Thursday night at Lake City. Kauke pumped in 19 points while Wilson added 11 more to lead the Lady Rebels, who improved to 11-3 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Cross County won the junior high contest 36-27.
Riverside will begin play in the NEA Tournament Thursday, Dec. 26, when they take on top-seeded Manila in a 12:00 tipoff.