Riverside moves to 3-0, beats Karr 79-70

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 19, 2014


RESERVE — One night after besting Class 5A power Scotlandville, Riverside wasn’t finished collecting victories over strong competition.

Von Julien, Herb McGee and Malik Crowfield combined to score 57 points to lead the Rebels to a 79-70 victory over Karr Tuesday night in Reserve.

Julien scored a game-high 22 points, while McGee added 21. Crowfield dropped in 14.

“We didn’t play our best or with a lot of intensity, and we were sloppy with the ball, but I know it will take some time to get into a groove,” Riverside coach Timmy Byrd said, alluding to what’s been a  late start to the Rebels’ season.

“Malik started hot, and Herb really stepped his game up in the fourth quarter. He made some big shots down the stretch.  

“I was really happy with how Von played, as well. He had his best game so far (this season).”

Riverside improved to 3-0 on the young season, propelling it into this week’s City of the Palms tournament in Florida on the back of some momentum. The Rebels traveled Wednesday and began play on Thursday against Florida Air Academy.

Vincent Phillips led Karr (6-3) with 17 points. Rae Bush and Tyree Thompson each scored 11 points.

As it did in the Scotlandville game Monday, Riverside built a first half lead, taking an eight-point lead after the first quarter and retaining it through halftime.

The Rebels were able to keep the Cougars at arm’s length from there, largely on the back of their outside shooting. Riverside made 13 3-pointers in the game.

Byrd said while he feels the Rebels can play at a higher level, these early victories are promising.

“Honestly, I think it’ll take seven or eight games to really hit our stride,” Byrd said. “But we’ve played two really good teams and been able to win despite making a fair amount of mistakes, and that’s certainly very encouraging.”

Byrd said the annual trip to play at the Palms tournament will be a challenge; if the Rebels were to defeat Florida Air Academy in the opener, potentially two teams ranked nationally in the Top 20 would await them thereafter, including Montverde Academy (Fla.) and LSU commitment Ben Simmons, the consensus No. 1 prep senior recruit in America.

“We’ll have to play smart, make shots and defend teams bigger than we are,” Byrd said. “If we come out of this game-ready, we’ll have accomplished our main goal. But we certainly want to beat these teams and pull an upset.”