Advantage speedPublished 2:45pm Friday, February 22, 2013
ROBERSONVILLE — Since Dr. James Naismith first bounced a basketball fans have debated the pros and cons of speed versus size.
Thursday’s Four Rivers Conference tournament semifinal matchup between Riverside and Southside allowed that debate to play out on the hardwood and after four quarters the Knights were able to chalk one up for Team Speed.
The cat-quick second-seeded Knights stormed the superiorly sized fourth-seeded Seahawks during the middle quarters where they outscored them by 19 to take a 65-49 victory and advance to the tourney title game.
The nearly all-guard lineup of Riverside (24-1), the 12th-ranked team in the state according to MaxPreps.com, exploited the Seahawks big lineup in nearly every facet of the game except on the glass during their semifinal round victory.
“We wanted to try and push the ball and hope that by the end of the game (Southside) would be worn out,” Riverside first-year coach Kirby Maness said. “(Southside) has the biggest lineup in the conference … so we wanted to push the tempo and make them play our game.”
Like the Knights, Southside tried to impose its style of play but in the end it could not keep up with Riverside.
“We have some big players and we’re going to play them and they have a lot of quick, little players and they have to play them. Unfortunately, their speed got us rattled a few times and they took advantage,” Southside coach Bill Lake said.
“Other than that, I think it was a pretty even ball game. They had a run in the first half and a run in the second half and that was it.”
That was it indeed. The Knights began to pull away in the second quarter as Jalyn Brown scored seven points to spearhead an 18-8 run that propelled her team to a 32-21 halftime lead.
In third quarter it was all Dasia Moore. Being covered by power forwards, the Knights’ 5’4” guard took advantage of the mismatch by tallying 14 third-quarter points in an impressive display that ended with Riverside taking a 53-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
“It was a big mismatch,” Lake said of Moore. “She can go outside and shoot that three and we didn’t feel comfortable with our foot speed trying to go out there and guard her. She burned us.”
Moore would finish the game leading all scorers with 19 points, while Brown tallied 17.
Southside, who was without starting forward Kyajia Mourning (knee), was dominant down low and received a tremendous performance from center DeAndria Purdue, who led the team with 14 points.
Southside 13 8 12 16 — 49
Riverside 14 18 21 12 — 65
Dudley 12, Stanbridge 7, Rosiland Clark 10, DeAndria Purdue 14, Hardy 2, Blango 4, Olds 2, Brown 2.
Jalyn Brown 17, Brown 2, Burnett 8, Dasia Moore 19, Wilson 4, Rodgers 2, Bland 5, Cooper 4, Williams 2, Alexander 4.