Friday, December 15, 2006

SPORTS >>Raiders sputter, still beat Brinkley

IN SHORT: The Riverview boys and girls started slowly, but still got good league wins Tuesday night over Brinkley in the conference home opener for both teams.

Leader sports editor

Riverview got a pair of easy wins Tuesday night at home against Brinkley. It was the first home game for the Raiders and Lady Raiders, and both teams came out flat against what was supposed to be an easy opponent.

Still, both teams came together to pull off relatively easy wins.

The boys won it in a rout, 63-23, while the girls pulled away late for a 50-35 victory.

The boys team led just 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, and drew the ire of head coach Danny Starkey.

“I just thought we were really sloppy,” Starkey said. “We didn’t come out focused and just played bad basketball. It wasn’t pretty for sure.”

Things turned around when Starkey called for full-court pressure. The Tigers couldn’t handle it. The two-point margin was 17 in just a few minutes, and Riverview went into intermission leading 31-14.

The third quarter finished it off. The Raiders outscored their overmatched visitors 26-4 in the third frame, and led 57-18 to invoke the mercy rule throughout the fourth quarter.

“There wasn’t much to comment on once we got rolling,” Starkey said. “Brinkley is very young and inexperienced. They-’re not very big either so they just didn’t have much of an answer.

“I thought we played well once we got our heads in the game, but we sure didn’t show up ready to play. That’s not all bad I guess. You know me, I don’t want us to be peaking right now.”

Senior Tony Hall led the team with 16 points. LaMarcus Banks added 12 while Thatcher Coop-erwood scored 10. Bo Banks and Ben Jones scored six each.

Banks, a senior and returning starter, had not played as well as Starkey wanted in the first several games, but he has come on strong since conference play began.

“He has put two really good games together now and that helps us a great deal,” Starkey said.

“It’s going to help us down the road too if he keeps it up. We’ve been waiting on him to start playing like we need him to.
The Lady Raiders actually trailed 11-8 at the end of the first quarter, and were still in a scrap at halftime. They led 22-17 at the break, but didn’t create any breathing room until the fourth quarter.

Brinkley stayed in the game through most of the third, but a late mini rally by Riverview made it 37-27, and the Lady Raiders were able to extend the lead to as much as 19 in the final frame.

Jasmine James led the team with 11 points while Kori Meachum and Courtney Webster ad-ded 10 apiece.

Jasmin Washington scored seven and Tara Holiday six for the Lady Raiders, who improved to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Riverview boys are now 9-4 and 3-0 in the 3A-2 conference.

Last night they played Rose Bud in an already huge battle between the only two teams still undefeated in conference.
Look for details of that big game in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.