Riverside turns tables on Comets, 55-52

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / January 5, 2000

RESERVE – This time the tables were turned.

Riverside hit six-of-seven free throws in the final 1:30 to hold off St.

Charles Catholic, 55-52, in the third place game of the Riverside Holiday Classic Wednesday night. A week before, it was the Comets who hit theirfoul shots down the stretch in a 64-59 double overtime win over the Rebels at St. Charles Catholic.The victory evened the season series and improved Riverside to 6-7 on the season. St. Charles Catholic fell to 7-12 on the season.Riverside rallied from a four-point halftime deficit to take a 44-28 lead into the fourth quarter. St. Charles Catholic cut the deficit to 46-44 with6:15 left as Abner Sanders scored off a rebound by Alton Alexander before the Rebels answered with a jumper from the left baseline by Damian Melancon.

After two free throws apiece by Alexander and Joel Levin, Alexander put back a miss to make it 50-48 with 52 seconds left. The Rebels then ranthe clock down with Scotty Manson being fouled and hitting both ends of a one-and-one with 38.75 seconds remaining. Daress Nicholas answeredwith a jumper from the free throw line before Craig Tearney hit two foul shots with 26.62 seconds on the clock.Alexander again made it a two-point game with a put back but Tearney came back to hit the first of two free throws to make it 55-52 with 6.45seconds left. Nicholas grabbed the rebound after the miss and got the balldowncourt to Nick Monica whose 3-point attempt from the top of the key bounced off the back of the rim with Tearney tipping away the rebound.

“It was pretty much a mirror game from the last time,” Riverside coach John White said. “At the end, we made our shots and they didn’t. Thisevens things up for the season. It was a good competition and a goodrivalry.”Riverside trailed 27-23 at the half before rallying to tie the score at 29 on a jumper from the right baseline by Manson. A 3-pointer by MichaelSchoen from the right corner gave the Rebels the lead with 4:50 left in the third. After a jumper by Tearney, Schoen grabbed a steal and found Tearneydriving in. Schoen then hit a 3-pointer from the right wing, building thelead to 39-31 with 2:12 left in the quarter.

A 3-pointer from the left corner by Mike Mustian trimmed the deficit to 39-36 with 1:17 left before Riverside responded with a drive by Levin and a 3-pointer from the left wing by Schoen to make it an eight-point game again. Mustian hit a turnaround jumper in the final seconds to make it 44-38 at the end of the third quarter.

“We hit our shots in the third quarter and did a good job on the boards,” White said.

Both teams started sluggish with the Comets rallying from a 7-2 deficit to take a 9-7 lead on a jumper by Steven Washington. Schoen followedwith a 3-pointer from the left side to regain the lead at for the Rebels 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.

St. Charles Catholic took a 13-11 lead as Jamall Singleton foundWashington inside on an inbounds pass. That lead grew to 19-13 on a 3-pointer from the right wing by Mustian with 5:08 left in the half.

Riverside bounced back to take a 20-19 lead on a 3-pointer from the left corner by Travis Billings and a drive by Levin. A jumper by Sanders startedan 8-0 run by the Comets with Nicholas making it 27-20 by taking a pass from Alexander in with 50 seconds left. Schoen cut the deficit to 27-23 atthe half with a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Schoen led all scorers with 18 points on six 3-pointers. Levin, who wasselected all-tournament, tossed in 13 points while Melancon added eight points.

Mustian scored seven points in each half to lead the Comets with 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Nicholas and Alexanderchipped in with 10 points apiece.

“It came down to the end but the game was really lost early,” St. Charlescatholic coach Philip Cavell said.

“We made too many mistakes early. But you have to give them credit. Theydid the little things at the end to win the game. It’s the little things thatget you beat and that’s what happened tonight.”

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