Fight to the finishPublished 5:58pm Thursday, December 12, 2013
WILLIAMSTON — A seesaw game was decided by one final push as Riverside ripped off a 20-5 run in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter to propel past Southside 70-55 on Wednesday.
Southside (2-3), who fought back from a 30-22 halftime deficit to get within three at the start of the fourth quarter, took a brief 50-49 lead after a pair of free throws by Donshae Miller, but quickly relinquished it.
Though momentum appeared on the Seahawks’ side, it was merely a mirage. The Knights (2-2) tied the game up at 50 seconds later, then tighten up on defense and finished on offense to end the game on a decisive 20-5 run.
“We just finally decided to play a little defense and take care of the basketball,” Riverside coach Bobby Williams said of the team’s game-winning push. “We had many opportunities before that. We lost a lot of seven or eight point leads.”
Riverside was led by a trio of double-digit scorers, as D.Q. Brown tallied a game-high 15 points, Daniel Everett added 14 and Mar-Q Jenkins scored 11.
Southside, who never allowed the Knights to breakaway until the final minutes, was led by Miller’s 14 points. Rashawn Moore tallied nine for the Seahawks, while Tyreik Gaskins chipped in eight.
Southside trailed 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and 30-22 at the break, but outscored the Knights 20-15 in the third to get back in it.
The slashing Miller erupted for five third-quarter points, while Moore exploded for seven, leaving the Seahawks trailing only 45-42 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We talked at halftime about pressing a little bit more,” Southside coach Sean White said. “Our press got us back in this game. That really worked good, but then it seemed like we were getting complacent again.
“Then, (Riverside) started breaking the press. We can’t leave the middle open in our press. We practice staying with the ball or ahead of the ball. When the ball gets ahead of you, then obviously the press is broken and that’s what happened.”
Tied at 50, the Knights lead expanded to 54-50 after a Jenkins put-back, and grew to 61-52 when Ziree Rodgers, who had seven fourth-quarter points, converted a fastbreak layup.
Williams said improved passing played a big part in the Knights’ game-clinching run.
“We slowed down a little bit and ran our offense,” Williams said. “We were getting to the rim, but we just had to make better decisions. If somebody is in between you and the basket then you have to give the ball up.”
Southside 10 12 20 13 — 55
Riverside 13 17 15 25 — 70
Smith 4, Donshae Miller 14, Gaskins 8, Moore 9, Tatum 6, Jones 7, Moore 3, Whitley 1.
Smith 1, Wilson 8, Byrd 5, Manning 6, Mar-Q Jenkins 11, Daniel Everett 14, D.Q. Brown 15, Rodgers 8.