Knights lose hearbreaker

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, February 16, 2012

ROBERSONVILLE — It was an all too familiar feeling for Riverside coach Bobby Williams as he watched his star center get into foul trouble and his team drop another close contest. This time, the heartbreaking defeat came at the hands of Camden who topped the Knights 43-39 in the second round of the Four Rivers Conference tournament on Thursday.
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch. This is our sixth game we lost in the final minute of the ball game,” Williams said. “We have eight losses and sixth of them came in the final minute.”
The third-seeded Knights (17-8) overcome a slow start and an 11-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to slowly work their way back into the contest. By halftime, Riverside had chipped the No. 2 Bruins’ (18-7) lead down to 24-16.
With the Camden harassing center Marcus Freeman, the Knights found other scoring options in Chuck Bethea and Mario Moore. When Freeman picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, those two would carry the load offensively.
Bethea would scored a team-high 10 points while Moore added nine and Darrell Freeman tallied six. Marcus Freeman, who did not check back into the game until there was two minutes left in the fourth, would be held to five points in limited action.
“That puts us in a huge bind. We got one of the best players in the area on the bench for about a quarter-and-half,” Williams said. “But I thought our guys battled back and got us back into it.”
With the 6-8 Freeman on the bench, Riverside rallied and cut Bruins’ lead to 41-39 with :46 left in the game.
The Knights had a chance to tie or take the lead when they inbounded the ball underneath their own basket with 18.6 seconds on the clock but Camden would draw a charging foul on Bethea along the baseline.
The Knights would go on to foul Jake McDaniels who went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to extend the lead to four.
McDaniels would score a game-high 12 points for the Knights while Brett Forbes added 11.
With the win Camden moves on to the conference tournament title game where it will play No. 1 seed Plymouth at 7:30 p.m. at South Creek High School.

Riverside    7    9    10    13    —    39
Camden    18    6    7    12    —    43
Knights (39)
D. Freeman 6, Chuck Bethea 10, Beach 2, Brown 4, M. Freeman 5, Moore 9, Hardison 4.
Bruins (43)
Brett Forbes 11, Nelson 6, Jake McDaniels 12, Wilson 5, Burnham 4, Joyner 3, McCoy 3.