Riverside edges Scotlandville in battle of hoops titans
Two of the best teams with two of the best players in the state squared off Monday night in Baton Rouge. The result matched the expectations.
Jeremiah Bigham scored on a layup as time expired to lift unbeaten Riverside to a thrilling 75-73 victory at Scotlandville, handing the defending Division I state champion Hornets their first home loss since 2015. It was Riverside who defeated Scotlandville on Dec. 21, 2015.
Bigham’s heroics came after LSU commit Ja’Vonte Smart drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game with just over six seconds remaining.
Riverside head coach Timmy Byrd elected not to call timeout, putting the ball in his best player’s hands in Alabama commit Jared Butler, who raced down the floor and found a cutting Bigham open for the game-winner.
Riverside head coach Timmy Byrd did not even consider calling timeout after Smart’s basket.
“We trust Jared with the ball and I did not want to call timeout to allow them to set their defense,” Byrd said. “We are an attacking team and Jared attacked. Jeremiah ran the floor and it paid off for us.”
Bigham led the Rebels with 21 points while Butler tallied 19. Butler missed significant time in foul trouble. He made all nine of his free throw attempts. Kash Foley added 13 points for Riverside.
Smart led Scotlandville with 24 points while sharp-shooter Reece Beekman scored 20 for the Hornets.
Riverside jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and led through halftime. The Rebels got in foul trouble in the third quarter and Scotlandville took the lead by as many as five points in the third quarter. The game went back and forth from that point on.
“They don’t get beat in their gym,” Byrd said. “It was a great atmosphere, a heavyweight fight.” You had the two best players in the state going at each other with two of the best teams. It could not have been a better scenario. What was significant for us was how the supporting cast showed up. Garland Robertson did an exception job on Je’Vonte. Jeremiah may have been the best player on the court. He was big for us. We went nine-deep. Our depth was a big factor in the win.”
Riverside (6-0) remained unbeaten while Scotlandville (8-2) saw its seven-game win streak end.
Riverside will next play in the Madison Prep Tournament beginning Thursday against Lee High in a tournament that features Southern Lab, Sophie B. Wright, Woodlawn of Shreveport, Walker and host Madison Prep, Landry-Walker, Jehovoh-Jireh, Carencro and Crescent City Christian, among others.
“It is a loaded tournament with a host of really good teams,” Byrd said. “This will be a great test for us. We have to stay healthy. If we do, we have a very promising year ahead of us. We know the competition now will really help us down the road.”
The Hornets will host Donaldsonville Friday at 7 p.m.
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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…