SPORTS >> Raiders top Bison to win Medallion
Leader sports editor
Riverview controlled Saturday night’s encounter with Carlisle in Newport, and as a result brought home the championship trophy from the Medallion Classic with a 64-48 victory.
The Raiders had a good first quarter, and never trailed afterwards for the win.
The first quarter has been good to the Raiders all season, save a slow start in the Medallion’s semifinal round when Riverview squeaked past Brinkley.
“That’s been our quarter all year for some reason,” Riverview coach Danny Starkey said. “We’ve just been coming out ready to play. I’m not sure why they’ve been so focused to start games, but they have been. I’m just trying not to mess it up.”
While Riverview’s offense was steady in the early going, it was its defense that maintained control of the game. Carlisle’s leading scorer, Adam French, was held to just six points the entire night by a rotation of Raider defenders.
“We did a good job on him,” Starkey said. “Cory was on him most of the time, but we had a lot of guys step in and play good defense when we needed them to.”
While Cooperwood drew the task of handling the Bison’s best scorer, he did plenty of his own scoring. French, nor the rest of the Bison, had an answer for the 6-foot-4 postman all night. Cooperwood finished with a game-high 31 points, but he wasn’t the only Raider that was a threat to score.
Point guard Tony Hall dropped in 23 points for the Raiders, leaving the rest of the team to combine for 10.
“Those two have been, and will be our two key guys,” Starkey said. “But you know the good thing about this team is, whenever one of those two isn’t having a good game, someone else steps up. We’ve had that all year. We didn’t really need it Saturday, but we have before, and we will again. This group plays like a team, and thinks like a team. That’s really what’s gotten us this far.”
The Raiders jumped out to a 17-10 lead by the end of the first and the margin remained in that range until the very end of the game when the Bison were forced to foul to try and get back in it.
Riverview led 32-22 at halftime and 43-34 at the end of three.
“They sure wouldn’t go away,” Starkey said. “I didn’t think we played that great, but not bad either. I think we were tired. We had a little tougher draw than they did and we were a little wore out.”
Carlisle will get a chance to redeem itself later this week when Riverview visits the Bison’s home gym on Friday.
The win lifts the Raiders to 14-1 overall.
The Lady Raiders didn’t fare as well, and dropped to 9-6 after losing badly to Batesville.
The Lady Pioneers had not played well all season, but came out hitting everything they put up against Riverview.