Leader Blues

Friday, January 12, 2007

SPORTS >>Riverview cruises by Episcopal Collegiate

IN SHORT: The Raiders moved to 7-0 in the 3A-2 Conference by easily beating Episcopal Collegiate Tuesday.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

Riverview completed its sweep through the first conference roundrobin Tuesday night in Searcy, knocking off Little Rock Episcopal 65-41. The Raiders started with a 9-0 run before easily out-running the Wildcats the rest of the way.

Junior point guard Bo Banks hit two fast-break layups to start the game as the Raiders raced out to a 22-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. Episcopal tried to hurry back into the game by lofting three pointers on nearly every possession, but the strategy backfired when the shots refused to fall.

Riverview’s run didn’t really stop until the end of the third quarter. By then, the Raiders held a 32-point lead, 59-27, and the mercy rule was in effect.

The Wildcats lost two players over the Christmas break that had been displaced for the past 15 months by hurricanericane Katrina. One was a 6-foot-11 post player that was sorely missed Tuesday night.

“They’ve definitely lost their Louisiana connection and you could tell they’re sort of trying to figure out what kind of team they are now,” Riverview coach Danny Starkey said. “They’re still a pretty athletic team with some good talent out there. It’s the kind of team I look at and worry that they could give us some trouble when we go there.”

One point of concern for Starkey was the lack of defensive intensity in the second half, something he felt carried over into Wednesday’s practice.

“We didn’t play that much defense in the third quarter, then didn’t play a lick of it in the fourth,” Starkey said. “I took all my starters out to start the fourth, and got no defense from them at all. The third quarter with my starters wasn’t much better, but it doesn’t look as bad when you score 21.

“I think we had started losing some consistency. We would turn it on and turn it off, and I brought that to their attention. Thursday we had a really good practice, so that tells me they responded to what I asked of them. I’m pleased with that.”
Senior Tony Hall led the way for Riverview, scoring 22 points, while Dominique Baker added 10.

The Lady Raiders also got an easy win, knocking off the Lady Wildcats 72-52 to improve to 16-7 overall and 5-2 in league play.

Senior Kori Meachum turned in one of her best performances of the year, scoring 32 points to lead all scorers.
Jasmine James added 17 while Courtney Webster scored 12.

Finishing the game was a bit harder than it needed to be. Episcopal trimmed a 24-point deficit to 10 early in the fourth quarter before the Lady Raiders reclaimed control.

The Raiders played at Barton last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that matchup in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.