Multiple Teams · SB Tribune Article


Riley players step up to beat Concord

Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 6:00 am | Updated: 6:08 am, Wed Dec 16, 2015.

SOUTH BEND — As well as Riley played Tuesday night, there was still something missing.

Something quite significant.

The 6-1 Wildcats’ 75-48 high school basketball victory over Concord (2-4) was their second win since losing 6-foot-2 senior leader Reontre’ Lawrence to a concussion last week in their only loss against South Bend St. Joseph.

Lawrence went through the entire football season, playing defensive back and receiver, without getting hurt.

There’s been no indication that Lawrence will be cleared anytime soon, forcing Riley coach Mark Johnson to adopt the “next man in” mantra that carried the Notre Dame football team to success this season.

“If you try to re-do (the chemistry that formed early in the season), it doesn’t happen,” Johnson said. “We’ve got some solid leaders and some solid followers. There’s no doubt that we’ve lost a major, major piece.”

The challenge, at least for some of those leaders, has been to resist the temptation to do too much.

“Do your job, that’s all I ask,” Johnson said. “Do what you can do. Do what feels comfortable.”

“My focus has been to do more in other areas of my game (besides scoring),” said 6-6 sophomore Damezi Anderson. “Rebounding, steals, deflections; those kinds of things.”

Anderson overcame a slow start to collect 21 points and seven rebounds. He also came up with four steals, becoming more active than normal on the defensive end.

Nate Marino, Riley’s 3-point specialist, scored 12. Roland Austin came off the bench to grab nine rebounds.

“We’re moving the ball to different spots,” Wildcat floor general Junior Scott said of the adjustments to the loss of Lawrence. “It’s opening up different looks for guys. If everybody can pick it up a little, we can make up for what ‘Tre gave us.

“‘Tre and I have been playing together since we were 6 years old. I miss him as a brother. It’s not the same intensity with him not out there. We have to work that much harder.”

The intensity seemed to be just fine against the Minutemen. A 12-0 run, fueled by seven points from Anderson, gave Riley a commanding lead that it never relinquished.

Anderson missed his first three shots, two of which were 3-pointers, but hit five of his next eight and had 15 points by intermission.

“When I miss the first couple shots, I do other

things,” Anderson said. “I’ll go to the hole, or focus on rebounding. That usually gets me going.”

It did against Concord. Once he caught fire, the Minutemen were torched. Denzel Halliburton scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half, but Concord could get no closer than 14 points.

“I was a little disappointed, but this game is over,” said Concord coach Steve Austin. “We’ve got a chance to win our next six games, and start the (Northern Lakes Conference campaign) the right way.

“Riley’s athleticism intimidated us. We can’t play an up-and-down game with a team like that. That’s how you get beat by 30.”

Or, at least 27 — even with a key component from the opponent missing.

CONCORD (48): Damien Jackson 0 0-3 0, Grant Magnuson 3 0-1 6, Marvell Danner 1 2-4 4, Denzel Halliburton 9 0-0 20, Brandon Emerick 3 0-1 8, Nathan Hermon 2 1-1 5, Anthony Kyle 0 0-0 0, Michael Johnson 1 0-0 2, Cedric Mitchell 1 1-2 3. TOTALS 20 4-12 48.

RILEY (75): Damezi Anderson 7 4-5 21, Shamar Dillard 4 0-1 8, Rylen Grundy 4 0-3 8, Nate Marino 4 0-0 12, Junior Scott 2 4-4 8, Roland Austin 4 0-1 8, Jalen Jennings 1 0-0 2, Dar’Suan Kirk 2 0-0 4, Marlon Taylor 1 0-0 2, Glade Johnson 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 30 8-14 75.

Concord 7 27 41 48

Riley 22 41 56 75

Shooting: Concord 20 of 38 (54 percent), Riley 30 of 59 (52 percent); 3-point goals: Concord 4 (Halliburton 2, Emerick 2), Riley 7 (Marino 4, Anderson 3); Total fouls (fouled out): Concord 10 (none), Riley 15 (none); Rebounds: Concord 23 (Mitchell 7), Riley 36 ( Austin 9); Turnovers: Concord 21, Riley 10; Records: Riley 6-1, Concord 2-4; JV score: Riley 55, Concord 45.