Leader Blues

Friday, February 27, 2009

SPORTS >> Raiders returning to state after easy win over Bauxite

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

The streak lasted only one year but that was plenty long enough for Danny Starkey.

After winning the 3A state championship in 2007, the Riverview Raiders failed to make the state tournament last year.

They’re back. The Raiders pounded Bauxite 68-37 in the opening round of the 3A-3 Regional at Jessieville on Wednesday night. The added bonus is that the Raiders will be hosting the Class 3A state tournament next week at the Riverview Activity Center.

“We sure didn’t want to be sitting around and watching it,” said Starkey, whose Raiders improved to 22-10. We didn’t want that steak to continue.”

Bauxite only briefly challenged the 2-3A district champions, who were led by 26 points from Ben Jones. But after leading by a single basket after one period, the Raiders opened up a 34-23 lead at halftime and then put it away by outscoring the Miners 20-10 in the third period.

“We did a lot better defensively in the third quarter,” Starkey said. Offensively we weren’t that sharp overall. I say that but then we still win by 30 and score 68 points.”

Jones, who has often taken a backseat in the scoring department to Cameron Angerman, Jordan Perry and Taylor Smith, hit four threes and also took it hard to the basket for big buckets. He scored 10 of Riverview’s 23 second-quarter points when the Raiders were starting to put some distance between themselves and the Miners.

Angerman, Smith and D.J. Teague each added 10 points.