Wildcats claw past Rebels 65-60
Riverside battled 4A Trumann on even terms throughout most of their blended conference clash Friday night at Lake City, but in the end, the Wildcats outlasted the Rebels 65-60.
The Rebels got out of the gate fast, jumping to a 6-0 lead. The Wildcats rallied, and knotted the score at 9-9 when Dakota Craig knocked down a three at the 2:16 mark. Ethan Cash scored Riverside’s next seven points, as the Rebels finished the opening quarter with a 17-10 advantage.
The Rebels threatened to pull away in the second quarter, going ahead by double digits. Cash drained a pair of free throws and threw in an acrobatic bucket off the glass. Landon Moyer followed with a long three, and the Rebels were up 24-12 with 4:34 left before intermission. Trumann super sophomore Ben Turner entered the game and scored 11 consecutive points, including a thunderous dunk as the Wildcats stormed from behind to take a 28-27 edge at the half, outscoring Riverside 16-3 over the final four minutes.
Trumann scored the first eight points of the third quarter to pull ahead 35-27, capped off by another monster dunk from Turner, which turned into a three-point play. Riverside came to life, thanks to Moyer, who banged home back to back triples to slice the Wildcat lead to three. Trumann held a 43-38 advantage at the 2:25 mark, but Moyer’s 12-foot jumper and a Cash free throw cut the Wildcat margin to just 43-42 heading into the final frame.
Moyer put the Rebels on top to begin the fourth quarter with a driving lay-up. Alex Moses and Steven Stroud swapped buckets, leaving Riverside ahead 46-45. But Jacob Ferguson drilled a three pointer at the 6:15 mark to give Trumann the lead for good, 48-46. Riverside hung within striking distance the rest of the way, but ran out of gas as the Wildcats held on for the win.
“We shot poorly from the free throw line tonight, which really cost us,” said Riverside coach Buster Campbell. “We didn’t finish the first half like I wanted, especially the last three minutes. I thought we really had a chance to win the game tonight. We played well in spurts but we had a few bad spots. We’re getting more competitive. Trumann is a very talented and athletic team. They really meet the eye test. They just overmatched us a couple of times on the boards. We had our opportunities; we just didn’t finish.”
Moyer pumped in 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to post a double-double for the Rebels, while Cash also scored 23. Keech Wilmoth had seven, Stroud and Dillon Turner tallied three points apiece while Demo Bowers chipped in one point. Riverside struggled from the foul line, making just 10-23 attempts while draining six three pointers.
Turner finished with 20 points to pace Trumann while Moses also hit double digits, scoring 13. The Wildcats were 11-18 from the charity stripe and nailed six treys.
In junior high action, Trumann clawed their way past Riverside 37-26. Azoni Smith led the Wildcats with nine points. Riverside was paced by Grayson Emery and M.J. Wilkinson who both scored nine points apiece. Ethan Boatman, Trever Mangrum, J.M. Shinall and Brennen Laird all scored two points each.
Riverside traveled to Wilson Tuesday night and fell 79-59 to Rivercrest. The Colts led 21-10 after the first period, 39-24 at the half and 55-33 after three quarters.
Demilon Brown scored a game high 23 points to lead the Colts. D.J. and Jarvis Johnson chipped in 14 and 12 points respectively. Rivercrest sank 13-22 foul shots and hit three treys.
Turner paced Riverside with 19 while Bowers followed with 14 points, Moyer scored 13 and Cash pitched in 12. Stroud added one point. The Rebels made 20-31 free throws and sank three triples.
In the Senior B game, Rivercrest defeated Riverside 43-19. Wilmoth led the Rebels with nine, Ryan Austin and Carson Bell scored three points apiece while Stroud and Gage Crews chipped in two points each.
In the junior high game, Riverside came out on top 54-35. Boatman led the Rebels with 19 while Shinall scored 15. Mangrum netted eight, Traven Weaver tallied seven, Wilkinson had three while Emery added two. Omar Phillips led the Colts with 11 points.
Riverside returns to action Tuesday night with a home game against Brookland. The Rebels travel to Manila to take on the Lions Friday night.