Thomasâ€™ 33 leads Riverside past Ferriday
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE – Donald Thomas Jr.’s 33 points paced second-seeded Riverside as the Rebels trounced visiting Ferriday, 115-43, in a bi-district Class 2A playoff game.
The Rebels (30-9) were scheduled to travel to No. 18 seed Redemptorist in round two, after Redemptorist upset No. 15 seed Oakdale, 72-61. That game occurred after the press time for Saturday’s edition.
Ricardo Gathers scored 24. Herb McGee scored 13 and Corey Costanza added 11. Riverside was blistering from the outside, making 22 of 33 3-point attempts.
“What I was most pleased with was the way we shot from the outside,” said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd.
“What’s concerned me the most over the past two months has been the fact that we haven’t knocked down 3-pointers… I was pleasantly surprised about (making 22 3-pointers), naturally. We have multiple people sharing it very well.
“If we make 10-15 3-pointers and shoot a good percentage… I won’t say we can’t lose, but it would be extremely difficult for someone to beat us,” said Byrd, noting that when the 3 is falling, it makes it more difficult to contend with Gathers on the interior.
“When we beat ourselves at times, it comes down to bad shot selection.”
For Ferriday, Richard Jefferson’s 16 points led the way. Charles Chandler scored 11. Riverside raced ahead of Ferriday from the start, jumping out to a 32-11 lead after a quarter of play.
Riverside matched its scoring effort in the second and led 64-21 at halftime, all but sealing the win.
Thomas’ big night was just the latest in a run of strong efforts, Byrd noted.
“Over the last month, he’s been playing extremely well,” said Byrd.
“He’s really elevated his play, and he’s been consistent every night. His energy level has been extremely high and he’s playing like a big time player.”ì‡“