Butler helps Riverside overcome Reid, U-High in thriller
WESTWEGO, La. – When a pair of tremendous individual players put on a show, their teams are likely to follow suit.
The concept of “one man gang” was certainly applicable as unbeaten Riverside faced University High in the quarterfinals of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic Thursday night.
In the end, Alabama signee Jared Butler had just enough to carry the Rebels to a hard fought, come-from-behind 74-70 victory over University High at the Alario Center.
Butler scored 12 points, dished out four assists and had four rebounds in the fourth quarter.
“We were finally able to get going and we have been in a llot of tough games against very good teams and we know how to win,” Butler said.
While Butler was superb, Eric Reid of the Cubs was sensational in the final stanza. Reid scored 24 straight points in the quarter to give U-High a chance but in the end, it was not enough.
Reid made a believer out of Riverside head coach Timmy Byrd.
“That is as good as anyone has ever played against us,” Byrd said. “He was sensational, a great player. We had a great defender on him in Garland Robertson, too!”
Robertson fouled out trying to guard Reid.
Riverside came out cold from the field and University High defended well in the first quarter, taking a 13-9 lead on the strength of six points from Kyle Ross.
The Rebels scored the first seven points of the second quarter to grab a 16-13 lead but the rest of the quarter belonged to the Cubs (11-7). Milan Mejia had seven points in the quarter and nine in the half as U-High expanded its lead to 30-22 by halftime.
Riverside heated up in the third quarter, closing the period on an 11-0 run to take a 45-41 lead going to the final quarter.
The last quarter was a flurry of great plays by Butler and Reid. Butler converted a three-point play with 2:02 to play to give the Rebels a 66-63 lead and though the Cubs got within one at 66-65, they never led again. Jeremiah Bigham put the game away with just over one second to play with a pair of free throws.
After struggling with his shot in the first half, Butler finished 27 points, including 23 in the second half. He had eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a complete effort.
“They’re a great team, they got a lot better than last year but we were tough enough to win,” Butler said. My shot wasn’t going, I had to do something to help my team out so I started finding open men. We’re a little tired right now but the (unbeaten) streak is keeping us going.”
Reid finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in a marvelous effort.
“In the second half, we came out with a little more energy, we came out with enough energy to win,” Byrd said. “Did we play well? No, but you’ve got to give University a lot of credit. Joe (Spencer) does a great job and they’ve got a great player. When you have a great player that can put 30 on you, they’ll beat anybody.”
Riverside (20-0) advances to take on Lincoln High of Brooklyn, New York in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. The Railsplitters held off Sophie B. Wright 65-61.
“I think we’re battling fatigue, we’re battling a lot of things right now,” Byrd said. “We cannot allow circumstances to allow us from producing success. We will have to play better against Lincoln or we will get beat.”
RA 9 13 23 28 74
U-High 13 17 11 29 70
RA—Jared Butler 27, Jeremiah Bigham 14, Isaiah Bigham 12, Jalen Banks 7, Jordan Loving 6, Garland Robertson 4, Kash Foley 3, Gage Lavardain 2,
U-High—Eric Reid 29, Kyle Ross 13, Milan Mejia 9, Michael Douglas 8, DJ Morton 6, Shawn Jones 5
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…