Riley Needs Overtime to Secure 10th Straight
January 6th, 2016
By Korbett Koselak-Riley High School Senior
(8-2) 3-2 NIC Elkhart Central began 2016-17 with its best start in school history. An 8-1 start under first year Head Coach Terry Smith set up Friday’s NIC matchup with the unbeaten (10-0) 4-0 Riley Wildcats as potentially the most hyped regular season matchup in school history. Of course South Bend Riley left jumping Northside Gymnasium with their 10th win to open the season, but it would not come easy. Riley defeated Elkhart Central in overtime 63-59.
Riley quickly fell behind after two quick baskets by the Blue Blazers, but would lead 13-12 after one quarter. With two minutes remaining in the first half, Elkhart Central Head Coach Terry Smith called a timeout to gather his troops after a mini run by Riley. Central came out of the time out with an unconventional style of offense. HOLD THE BALL. Central held the ball until there were 15 seconds remaining in the first half. With 8 seconds left, an emphatic alley-oop finished by Central’s Cornell Connor sent the Blue Blazers into the locker room, down a single point.
Both teams doubled their first half totals, 24 and 23 respectively, in the third quarter alone and Riley entered the fourth quarter up two. A three by Damezi Anderson with a little more than six minutes remaining in the fourth capped a 7-0 run and pushed Riley out to a 52-46 lead. Central followed that up with a 6-0 run of their own and the teams finished regulation tied at 52. Riley scored the first six points in overtime and that was enough to win the basketball game.
Junior Forward Damezi Anderson led the Wildcats with 25 while Senior Point Guard Junior Scott added 17 of his own. No other Wildcat would score more than six points. Cornell Connor and Deveon Jackson each tallied 21 for the Blue Blazers.
The 15th ranked Wildcats next contest is Friday, January 13th at home against the Marian Knights. The (5-5) 4-1 Marian Knights can take over first place in the NIC with a victory at Algie Oldham on Friday in a massive game for the Wildcats. Through 10 games this season, the question about Riley losing a game has moved from “When?”, to “If?”. What will it be through 11?