Knights roll past SeahawksPublished 5:57pm Thursday, December 12, 2013
WILLIAMSTON — Southside coach Bill Lake didn’t want to tell his team how good Riverside was before it tipped off against the Knights, but the Seahawks found out soon enough.
Led by the combination of senior point guard Jalyn Brown and six-foot freshman sensation Kayla Jones, the Knights jumped out to a 26-point first-quarter lead and held on for a wire-to-wire 77-21 victory on Wednesday.
Last season Riverside reached the fourth round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs and came within sniping distance of the state title game. This season, they returned Brown, the reigning WDN Player of the Year, and added Jones, who has reportedly already been offered by East Carolina University.
The Seahawks (1-4) battled, but a disciplined Riverside press took them out of the game early.
“I didn’t tell them how good Riverside was because I wanted us to go out there and play as good as we could,” Lake said. “But, their press was just awesome. They put it on us early and put us down in a hole and we just couldn’t keep up with their pace.”
Riverside (5-0) had four players reach double-digits scoring figures, as Jones racked up a game-high 17 points and was followed by Brown (13) D’Asya Wilson (12) and Dabrieka Burnette (10).
The versatile Jones did everything from cover point guards to banging down low, to shooting three-pointers and leading fastbreaks as she racked up 11 first-quarter points to put the Knights up 29-3 after the first eight minutes.
“Kayla’s continuing to improve,” Riverside coach Kirby Maness said. “She had 17 on the night. She can score inside and out, but there’s still a lot of things that we can work on with her.”
Maness said a talent like Jones adds a whole new dimension to his club.
“It changes our team completely,” Maness said. “If you look at our team from last year the tallest girl I started was 5’7”. This year I start a 5’10” and a 6” girl, and it just opens up so many more doors for us.”
The Seahawks posted nine points in the second quarter and nine in the third, but were shutout in the fourth by Riverside’s B squad.
Tia Hardy and Angelica Tisdale lead Southside with six points each, while Breana Blango added five.
Southside 3 9 9 0 — 21
Riverside 29 20 20 8 — 77
Hardy 6, Blango 5, Olds 1, Tisdale 6, Mourning 3.
D’Asya Wilson 12, Dabrieka Burnette 10, Jalyn Brown 13, Kayla Jones 17, Bland 4, Highsmith 6, Simpson 4, Cooper 2, Williams 2.