Colts squeeze past Rebels 63-62 in district tournament
Rivercrest put together a late fourth quarter rally and stunned Riverside 63-62 in the semifinals of the 3A District Tournament Thursday night at Osceola.
The Rebels held a 54-50 lead with 3:42 to go, but Rivercrest's Aaron Hopewell drained a three pointer from deep in the left corner, was fouled and hit the "and one" to complete the four-point play, tying the game. After a Riverside turnover, Bruce Parker dropped in one of two foul shots to put the Colts on top 55-54 with 2:34 remaining. The Rebels answered when Dylan Austin banged home a long three-pointer at the 2:16 mark to put Riverside on top by two. Hopewell squared things again with 1:42 to go with a driving lay-in. The Rivercrest southpaw was fouled on the play, but missed his chance to put the Colts on top when his free throw banged off the rim. Braden Overman made a strong move on the inside and scored with 1:19 left to give the Rebels their last lead, 59-57.
Hopewell struck again, nailing another triple, this time at the 1:02 mark to put the Colts on top to stay, 60-59. Rivercrest tacked on a free throw with 23 seconds remaining to go up two, before Kentavious Robinson came away with a steal and drove the length of the floor, giving the Colts a 63-59 advantage with 12 seconds left. Landon Moyer gave the Rebels one last chance when he drilled a three pointer with four seconds to go, trimming the RIvercrest lead to 63-62, but Rivercrest inbounded the ball and the Colts ran the clock down to just one second before Hopewell was fouled. The senior missed both foul shots, but the Rebels were unable to get a shot away as the final horn sounded.
Both teams came out fast, with the Rebels holding a 22-19 lead after the first period. Overman scored 10 first quarter points, including back to back three pointers. Riverside clung to a 31-30 edge at the half and headed into the fourth quarter holding onto a 45-44 lead.
Stone and Overman paced Riverside with 21 points apiece. Jon Milligan scored seven, Austin had six, Chris Sain tallied four points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Moyer added three points. The Rebels hit 10-13 free throws and drained eight three pointers.
Rivercrest put four players in double digits, led by Demilion Brown and Robert Banks, who scored 14 points apiece. Bruce Parker tallied 12 while Hopewell pitched in 11 points. The Colts finished the night just 15-28 from the foul line, including a miserable 4-16 performance in the fourth quarter, while knocking down four treys on the night.
Quarterfinals: Riverside 71, Walnut Ridge 51
Riverside advanced to its first regional tournament since the 2013 season with a 71-51 victory over Walnut Ridge Tuesday night. The Rebels led 17-12 after the first break and pushed their lead to 45-27 at the half. Riverside took a 65-38 advantage into the final frame.
Austin canned four three pointers and finished with a team high 20 points to lead the Rebels. Stone scored 19 while Overman added 14. Sain tallied seven, Milligan netted five, Moyer had four while Garrett Grimes pitched in two points.
Slade Dalton led the Bobcats with 11 points.
"We are ready to get back to the regionals," said Riverside Coach Buster Campbell. "We didn't play a great game tonight, but we did score a lot of points. Our defense wasn't very good, so we need to step that up. We are glad to be going back to the regionals and play at our house."