Leader Blues

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

SPORTS >>Raiders take home third win in a row

IN SHORT: Riverview gets crucial double-header sweep in Friday matchup.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

Riverview got a crucial doubleheader sweep of hosting Rose Bud last Friday night in a 3A-2 conference matchup.

The Raiders completed a critical three-game road swing against three of the top teams in the conference with an unblemished conference mark of 4-0. They beat Brinkley at home by a wide margin, and added road wins over Abundant Life, Harding Academy and then Rose Bud Friday. It was the Ramblers first league loss of the season.

“We played good team ball,” Riverview coach Danny Starkey said. “Rose Bud was bound and determined to stop Tony (Hall), and some other kids stepped up. That’s what we’re going to need and so far we’ve been able to do that.”

Both teams were focused heavily on defense in the first quarter. Riverview’s zone traps caused lots of frustration for the Rose Bud guards. Riverview was able to force six turnovers out of the press, but had trouble converting the turnovers into points. The Raiders led 11-7 after quarter.

Rose Bud continued to struggle offensively, but played good defense to stay within 27-20 at halftime.

The difference came in the third quarter when Riverview extended the lead into double figures. The Raiders led by as much as 16 in the third before settling on a 43-30 lead by the start of the final frame.

In the fourth, Rose Bud had to foul, and Riverview did not allow the strategy to work. The Raiders hit 10 of 12 foul shots in the final quarter to keep their hosts at bay and secure the win.

“We’ve shot free throws pretty well all year,” Starkey said. “To keep hitting them late in a big game like this one is pretty huge. We showed some poise over the last few games and I’m real proud of that.”

Though Hall was the focal point of Rose Bud’s defense, he still finished with a team high 14 points. Joe Overstreet added 12 for the Raiders. Junior point guard Bo Banks added 11 while senior post LaMarcus Banks scored 10. LaMarcus Banks continued to draw praise from Starkey, who wasn’t totally pleased with his returning starter in the early part of the season.

“I was starting to get concerned about him because he had not stepped up at all early on,” Starkey said. “Here he is, a returning starter and a guy we were really counting on, and he hadn’t done much. But he’s put together three really strong games for us right in a row, and that’s going to get more and more important for us as the season goes along.”

Zach Prothro led the Ramblers with 17 points. Riverview improved to 10-4 overall. Rose Bud dropped to 13-2 and 3-1 in league play.

The Lady Raiders also got a huge win, beating Rose Bud 42-36. The game was neck-and-neck throughout the first half. The Lady Raiders pulled away slightly in the third and held on in the fourth.

Riverview trailed 9-6 at the end of one quarter and went into intermission tied at 16-all. Riverview got a little separation and led 30-25 after three, and hit enough free throws in the fourth to secure the win.

Jasmine James led the team with 13 points. Courtney Webster added 12 and Jasmin Washington 10 for Riverview.
The Lady Raiders improved to 9-7 overall and 3-1 against conference competition.

The boys will be off until resuming conference play in January. The girls will play in the Beebe tournament after Christmas.