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Botkins holds off Riverside

RIVBotkinsboys 121

Riverside’s Dalton Bollinger fights a Botkins player for control of the basketball during the fourth quarter of their game Friday at the Ben Logan Tip-Off Classic. (Examiner Photo/Aaron LaBatt)

By AARON LaBATT
EXAMINER STAFF WRITER
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The chief concern for Riverside’s boys basketball team entering the season was its lack of varsity experience. That proved to be a problem for the Pirates in Friday’s opener.

The Pirates returned just two players with varsity experience this season and that inexperience showed itself on the court Friday as Botkins held on to top Riverside 52-48 in the first round of the Benjamin Logan Tip-Off Classic.

“Our inexperience in really critical situations got us tonight,” said RHS head coach Don Epps. “We couldn’t handle that pressure and slow the game down when we needed to. When you have that experience you can do that. It’s a learning process.”

Riverside (0-1) faces Benjamin Logan in tonight’s consolation game at 6 p.m.

The two teams met in the championship game of the Tip-Off Classic last season, with Botkins pulling out another close one, 46-42.

“To be that close again in this game with our inexperience and have a shot at winning against a Shelby County school is a testament to these kids,” said Epps. “All the mistakes we had tonight are correctible. The passing, the rebounding and the other little things are all things we can fix easily.”

Botkins jumped out to a 13-6 lead after the first quarter. Riverside continued to hang around in the second quarter and trailed by 10 (27-17) at halftime.

The Trojans showcased their talent from the perimeter, especially in the second half. They hit eight three pointers.

“They hit a very high percentage of three pointers,” said Epps. “You don’t go into a game thinking you are going to lose because they made over 50 percent of their three-point shots. At one point in the first half I think they had more three pointers than two pointers.”

The Pirates continued to battle back in the second half and outscored the Trojans 13-9 in the third quarter. That cut Botkins’ lead to 36-30.

Riverside tried to keep the momentum going in the fourth quarter. The Pirates outscored the Trojans 18-16, but it wasn’t enough to gain the lead.

“The kids didn’t give up,” said Epps. “We were down 10 at halftime and came back to within four in the second half. We may have lost, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort. We are happy with what the kids gave us tonight. We’ll come back (tonight) and try to fix those mistakes.”

Dalton Bollinger led the Pirates with 14 points, Luke Greene had nine points and Jacob Herron and Grant Miller each had eight points.

BOTKINS 52, RIVERSIDE 48

RIVERSIDE (0-1)
Greene 4 0-0 9; Bollinger 5 4-4 14; Daniels 1 0-0 2; Herron 2 2-2 8; Shough 1 0-0 3; Mechling 2 0-0 4; Miller 3 2-4 8. Totals: 18 8-10 48.

BOTKINS (1-0)
Miller 1 1-2 4; Hoying 2 3-6 7; Goubeaux 1 0-0 3; Geyer 3 5-7 14; Schwartz 8 0-0 19; Lawrence 2 0-0 5. Totals: 16 9-15 52.
Pirates    6    11    13    18  — 48
Trojans    13    14    9    16    —    52

Three pointers: Riverside 4 (Herron 2, Greene, Shough); Botkins 8 (Schwartz 3, Geyer 2, Goubeaux, Hoying, Miller). Turnovers: Riverside 19; Botkins 6. Team fouls: Riverside 14; Botkins 11.