Riverside closes game on 16-0 run to defeat Rocky Mount PrepPublished 12:09pm Thursday, February 6, 2014
Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” On Wednesday, the Riverside men’s basketball team personified Lombardi’s words and, despite being outplayed for 24 minutes, pulled off a spirited and strong-willed comeback in the final minutes against Rocky Mount Prep, 50-42.
“I think tonight we absolutely played our hearts out,” said Head Coach Bobby Williams. “We came out flat, not many folks, not a big crowd; we didn’t create out enthusiasm early on. We pulled that win out of our tails.”
Just hours after committing to play Division I football at Elon University, forward Daniel Everett, who is also the leading scorer on Riverside’s basketball team, had to suit up and try to help his team pick up a much-needed win in the competitive 1A Conference 9 standings.
“He’s got to be our leader. He’s our best athlete, a college bound athlete,” said Williams. “At clutch times, he was down on the line and drove to the hole a couple times. That’s what good athletes do.”
Good athletes have the ability to take over games at any time and, even though Everett was in the midst of a poor shooting performance, found a second wind. Down 37-27 at the end of the third quarter, the Knights outscored the Jaguars 24-5 over the final eight minutes. Everett was able to drive to the rim, draw fouls and hit clutch free throws down the stretch, all while junior guard Ziree Rodgers and sophomore Malike Smith began to find their rhythm.
The Jaguars had no answer. An animate coach Don Reams could not motivate his team, as Rocky Mount began to miss open looks and turn the ball over.
“I think we’re coming together a little bit, surviving and moving on,” said Williams.
The Knights will try to avenge their 58-32 loss to South Creek when they head to Robersonville tonight.