Friday, December 30, 2011

SPORTS >> Raiders take Carlisle, title

Leader sports editor

If free throws had fallen, there likely would have been a new champion in the Bison Holiday Hoops Tournament. Since host Carlisle hit just 10 of 26 attempts, Riverview won the championship game 60-50 to repeat as tournament champions.

“You can’t miss free throws like that and beat good people,” Carlisle coach Williams Rountree said. “Riverview played hard, but we can’t complain that we didn’t have chances.”

Carlisle started well, quickly grabbing an 8-2 lead, but Riverview close the first quarter strongly. The Bison led 13-11 at the end of one, but the Raiders’ run continued early in the second. Riverview grabbed a 15-13 lead then forced a 10-second timeline infraction, forcing Rountree to call the first of two timeouts in a 32-second span.

Riverview got a defensive stop, but Raider Des Pettis got a steal, a layup and was fouled. He made the free throw to make it 18-13 and force another timeout.

Riverview took a 24-17 lead into the break and had the momentum, but the Bison wouldn’t go away.

Several times in the second half Riverview’s lead reached nine points, but Carlise fought back, cutting the margin to as little as three on four occasions.

With 4:08 left in the game, senior guard Zac King sparked a mini run that trimmed what had been an eight-point Raider lead to 40-37.

“Zac King is a competitor,” Rountree said. “He’s going to give you everything he’s got. There’s not a team out there in any sport that wouldn’t want Zac King.”

Riverview pushed it back to eight with Isaac Howard getting a layup and free throw to make it 47-39 with 1:39 left, but Carlisle made one last push.

Chris Hart scored five consecutive points. He hit a three pointer with 1:25 left. After Riverview missed the front end of a one-and-one, Hart was fouled and hit two free throws with 1:18 remaining to make it 47-44.

Following the free throws, Pettis went the length of the court and hit a layup. Riverview then forced a turnover in the backcourt and Pettis again got to the rim for a bucket and drew a foul. The free throw made it 52-44 with 55 seconds left, and Carlisle couldn’t get within five the rest of the way.

Dathan Hill hit a three pointer with 23 seconds left to make it 55-50, but the Bison’s scoring ended there.

Pettis led all scorers with 23 points while Howard added 16 points and 14 rebounds for Riverview. Austin Reed led Carlisle with 10 points.

Earlier in the week the Bison pummeled White County Central 68-27 in the opening game, then beat Bradford in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Riverview beat Benton-Harmony Grove and Bauxite to advance to Thursday’s title game.

Dewitt won the consolation bracket by beating Hazen after losing to Bradford and beating White County Central.

Hazen opened with a loss to Bauxite and a win over BHG.

Carlisle (2-4, 0-3), which started the season late because so many players were competing with the football team through the championship game, gets a rest before getting back to action on Friday at Marvell in a 6-2A conference match. Rountree believes this week’s tournament gives his squad some momentum as it prepares to resume league competition.

“I think it has to,” Rountree said. “We won two games and we kind of started to grow and put it together. We’re still putting it together and every time out it’s a learning experience. I thought the kids competed well.”