Riley Wins 12th Straight, One Win Shy of Tying Best Start in School History
January 17th, 2017
By Korbett Koselak-Riley High School Senior
SOUTH BEND – With Senior Guard Derrick Wesley’s layup with five seconds remaining in (12-0) 5-0 NIC Riley’s 83-70 victory over (7-7) 3-0 NLC Elkhart Memorial, there were two things every player on Riley’s basketball team had done. The first of those two; Score. Wesley had been the only player yet to score. A first year Varsity player who plays very seldom became the last of the eleven on Riley’s roster to register a point this season. The second of the two things every player has done; WIN! and WIN! and WIN! and WIN!. Twelve games into the 2016-17 season and not one time have the 11th Ranked Wildcats ended a game with fewer points than their opponent.
Scoring came easy for the Wildcats early as Junior Forward Damezi Anderson tallied 12 of Riley’s 25 first quarter points as the Cats quickly jumped out to an 8 point lead. A back and forth affair in the second quarter sent Riley into the locker room with a 43-33 advantage.
The back and forth battle would continue into the second half as Riley would quickly jump out to a 17 point lead, just to have it cut back to 10 entering the fourth quarter. Despite Elkhart Memorial’s Joe Smith attempting to keep the game close with back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, Riley held on for an 83-70 victory.
Only 13 of the 83 Wildcat points would come via the bench. Anderson had a double-double of 32 and 10, while Senior Center Roland Austin tallied 21 points and 13 rebounds. Struggling in the contest was Senior Point Guard Junior Scott. Scott was 0-8 from the field, but hit 7 of 8 free throws and dished out five assists. Scott would also leave the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury. The severity is yet to be determined.
Had somebody said at the beginning of the season, “You’re gonna go 21-0, but lose in the First Round of Sectionals!” Would you have taken it? Probably Not. This team has accomplished nothing. In the spirit of the Indiana Sectional Layout and Playoff Draw, the Regular Season, not just figuratively, but literally, does not MATTER. But it never hurts to keep winning. The Riley Wildcats are 12-0 for the first time since 1973. What happened that year you wonder? St. Joe 63, Riley 61, in the Second Round of Sectionals. The next contest for the 11th Ranked Wildcats is Friday at winless Jimtown.