Grace King holds off Rebel comeback

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007


Sports Editor

Riverside cut a 31-point second half deficit to nine in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer as Grace King advanced to the semifinals of the Riverside Holiday Classic, 73-62.

Kane Keller led the Rebels (8-7) with 25 points. Bobby Smith added 15. The two combined for 24 of the Rebels’ 27 fourth quarter points.

Riverside Coach Ben Wilson said that the comeback effort was good to see from his team – but also voiced some regret.

‘(The comeback) was encouraging. I just wish that level of play had been there for the first three quarters,” Wilson said. “It’s a four quarter game, you can’t just play for one. It came too little, too late.”

Grace King scored 21, 22, and 21 over the first three quarters, and established a 43-23 lead at halftime.

King rebounded and got out into transition early and often for easy opportunities down the court.

“They attacked the glass, which has been one of our big weaknesses all season,” Wilson said. “Their best offense was to put up a shot and crash the glass.”

But in the fourth quarter, Riverside began to generate a great deal of defensive pressure, and helped its own cause by cleaning the glass. Grace King struggled to put the game away both from the field and at the foul line, where shots just wouldn’t fall.

But the eight minute quarter simply was not enough time for the Rebels to finish the comeback.

“We came out ready to play in the second half,” said the Rebels’ Jarid Caesar. “We rebounded well in the fourth and Kane and Bobby got some good shots off.”

It was one of the first games’ back for Caesar after a thumb injury sidelined him for the opening part of the season.

“I’m getting my feet wet still, this time I was able to produce a little bit for us,” he said. “But like Coach always says, it’s not about one person, it’s a team effort.”