Unbeaten Bulldogs eliminate Rebels from NEA Tournament
Tuckerman overcame a sluggish start and a gritty Riverside team and went on to defeat the Rebels 70-47 in first round action of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament Tuesday night at the First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.
The Bulldogs missed their first six shots from the field before Chaylun Dennis nailed a three pointer with 4:21 left in the first quarter. Tuckerman heated up, getting back to back triples from Zane Smith, and took a 15-9 lead after the first break.
Riverside hung close in the second stanza, closing the gap to 25-21 with 3:40 left in the half on a Demo Bowers trey. Tuckerman responded by scoring 11 straight points to go ahead 36-21 at the 1:18 mark. But the Rebels battled back with a 6-0 run of their own, including a three-point play by Ethan Cash and a Keech Wilmoth three pointer as the first half buzzer sounded, slicing the Bulldog advantage to 36-27 at intermission.
Dillon Turner tripled to open the third quarter for the Rebels, and Wilmoth followed with an offensive stick-back, moving Riverside to within 38-32 with 6:35 left in the period. But Bomani Roberson went on a scoring surge for Tuckerman over the next four minutes, scoring 11 straight points to push the Bulldog lead to 47-36. Smith ended the frame with a steal, a layup and a long three-pointer as the Bulldogs took a 52-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
Roberson scored the first six points of the final period and the Bulldogs cruised the rest of the way in advancing to the tournamentís quarterfinals while improving to a perfect 16-0 on the season. The fifth seeded Bulldogs placed four players in double figures, led by Roberson and Smith who both scored 19 points apiece. Dennis tallied 11 while Ben Keton had 10. After a slow start from the field, Tuckerman shot 49 percent on the night while knocking down 7-10 foul shots. The Bulldogs drained eight three pointers and had only seven turnovers.
Bowers topped the Rebels with 14 while Cash added 13. Wilmoth netted seven, Landon Moyer contributed five points and nine rebounds while Turner tallied five points. Justin Berry added three points for Riverside, which shot a respectable 45.7 percent from the field and connected on 8-9 foul shots. The Rebels sank seven treys but committed 17 turnovers, which proved to be costly.
Riverside will return to action Tuesday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Wilson to take on the Rivercrest Colts. The Rebels will play host to Trumann Friday night, Jan. 5, at Lake City.