Gators edge Rebels in O.T.

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside’s Kane Keller scored 18 points, but it wasn’t enough for the hosting Rebels to come out on top of Fisher on Tuesday.

The Gators defeated the Rebels in overtime, 65-59, in a District 10-2A game.

Riverside led 38-34 after three quarters, but couldn’t hold the lead.

In overtime, the Rebels couldn’t avoid critical mistakes, said Riverside Coach Ben Wilson.

“They were scoring off turnovers, and we were taking bad shots on offense,” said Wilson. “They were more patient. We forced some turnovers, but we’d turn it right back over to them.”

Bobby Smith and Jarid Caesar each scored 13 for Riverside (13-12, 0-3), which has now lost three straight games after starting 2008 4-0.

The game was back and forth throughout, with each team outscoring the other in two quarters before overtime. Neither team led by more than four after any period.

Fisher made a number of outside shots in the game, putting extra pressure on the Rebel defense to cover the entire floor.

“We weren’t very good on defense,” Wilson said. “But we’re also not real deep there. Our rotation is only six or seven deep. It wears on them.”

Wilson said that a big issue for his team during the recent stretch has been poor shot selection.

“Other teams are getting wide open shots on us. We take contested shots. We aren’t making the extra pass,” Wilson said.

“We live and die by the three. Against Fisher (10-15, 1-3), we made some, but in the previous two (against Newman and St. James) we haven’t been shooting well at all. If we don’t shoot it well, we’ll struggle.”

Things would get no easier for the Rebels, who faced district co-leader John Curtis on Friday night.

Wilson said that Curtis is made up much like the St. James team that the Rebels faced almost two weeks ago.

“They love to get up and down the court,” said Wilson. “We need to slow it down and take them out of their comfort zone.”