Beavers beat Preppers comeback attempt, 76-66 – News-Herald


Riverside Beavers

Riverside’s half-time lead was cut to one point in a non-conference clash with University on 4 February. The Preppers then started the final frame strongly and took a 6-point lead.

However, the Beavers fought back, with Charlie Fox hitting hard and Andrew Taggart pulling trip after trip to the line. That gave the lead back to the Beavers and they pulled away behind.

The Beavers defeated the Preppers 76-66 for their fourth win of the year.

Deadlocked 17-17 at the end of the first quarter, Riverside (14-3) stepped on the gas in the second. Peyton took his 8-point lead at the break, backed by Barnett and his 3 of his 4 in the quarter.

While Burnett lit the spark, Brady McKnight kept the fire lit as he rebounded after rebounding down the stretch. Coach Matt Grendel has seen them step into big moments, and their game against the Preppers was no exception.

“Payton in the second quarter provided us with much-needed offense,” Grendel said. “It was big for us. Brady does all the important things to win that don’t show up in the box score. He’s not the biggest man on the court, but his effort makes up for his size.It’s his effort that got us the win.”

Fox was involved in helping the Beavers regain the lead, but it was his ball-handling that played a key role in the second half. The assist extended the lead to a good margin.

He also added 17 points to help his offensive output.

The Foxes are used to handling scoring loads like they did in the previous game when they scored 30 points against Kenston. But he’s just as happy with handing out the ball as he is with scoring goals.

“I knew all season that I was surrounded by great teammates,” Fox said. “If I drive in and see it open for help, I know they’re going to put me down, so I kick it at them every time. We’re all like that with each other.” We have a lot of trust and know we’re going to make that shot.

He joins the double figures of Taggart (17 points) and Burnett (15 points).

Despite strong early shooting and ball movement, the Beavers started slowly in both the first and third quarters. The Preppers cut the deficit to his 1 with Justin Belcher shooting for 10 points in the 3rd quarter.

The preppers carried that momentum into the 4th inning start, putting them in a 6-point deficit. Grendel called an early timeout to get back to what caused the Beavers to start their lead.

“The message was that we need to keep fighting on defense,” Grendel said. Offensively, we kind of stagnated, we couldn’t move the ball, we didn’t stop defensively, but when we got back there, we started getting back to how we started the game.”

Riverside built a lead in the second, but University (10-8) were able to hold on, largely due to Alec Cogdon’s early shooting success. He recorded his five 3s in the first half to lead the Preppers’ scorers with 20 points, with Belcher just behind with his 18 points.

Coach Sean McDonnell was pleased with how the Preppers responded to the challenge of handling a halftime deficit.

“I tried to put a little pressure on the defense in the second quarter and it totally let me down,” McDonnell said. “They scored goals in a rush. To our credit, we played some very gritty defense and took that lead. They played, they’re physical, but we’ve seen the players get more comfortable, we try to take the best players into space, but the Riverside way , that is a big challenge.”

Also in double figures for the Preppers was Ethan Nowak, who had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Preppers are off until their trip to Norway on February 11th. Riverside will return to WRC play on February 7 when it hosts the South.

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