Riverside outlasts Lincoln in double overtime
WESTWEGO, La. – It was a battle of survival, the truest test of wills.
In the final analysis, Riverside Academy had just a smidge more than a talented, determined Lincoln, New York squad.
Garland Robertson scored five points in the second overtime as the Rebels outlasted the Railsplitters 75-70 in the semifinals of the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic at the Alario Center Friday night to remain unbeaten on the season.
“We knew we had to bear down on defense, get stops and turnovers,” Robertson said. “I knew I had to knock down free throws. We are a tough team and we were not going to allow ourselves to lose this one.”
Alabama signee Jared Butler overcame some tough free throw shooting and being double-teamed most of the night to score 22 points, pull down seven rebounds and hand out three assists.
“We’ve been here before, we fought hard but we’ve got to close the game out when we have the chance to do it,” Butler said. “We’ve got to win earlier. We should have won the game in regulation. I’m proud of our team. We pulled it out. That’s all I’m worried about. We love these type of games but we have to keep winning.”
Riverside head coach Timmy Byrd was relieved with the marathon win.
“Jared is going to take the game over in most cases but he wasn’t smart with the ball at times, which is uncharacteristic of him,” Byrd said. “He’s a gamer, a great player. I thought Garland played a heck of a game. He made some crucial plays on the defensive end and made free throws. Both Isaiah Bigham and Jeremiah Bigham were big. Jalen Banks and Kash Foley were good. It was a good, hard fought win. We earned this win. They did not let us have it. It was like being in a ring, in a boxing match.”
“We had to punch them in the mouth or we were going to get destroyed,” Byrd said. “Our kids responded and played a physical game and were up for the challenge.”
Lincoln got off to a great start, scoring the first six points of the quarter and maintaining that edge the remainder of the quarter for a 16-10 lead. Terrence Roberts had eight points for the Railsplitters.
The second quarter belonged to the Rebels, who turned up the heat defensively and turned it into points on the offensive end, forcing six Lincoln turnovers in the quarter. Riverside closed the half on a 6-0 run to take a 35-26 lead at the break. Isaiah Bigham and Kash Foley each scored nine points in the quarter for Riverside. Foley led the Rebels with 11 points in the half. Riverside outscored Lincoln 11-5 from the free throw line in the half.
Riverside (21-0) opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to extend its led to 38-27 but the rest of the quarter belonged to Lincoln. The Railsplitters had two 5-0 runs and an 8-0 run to tie the game 46-46 going to the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw both teams score 11 points and both teams had chances to win in the final minute but could not convert.
Isaiah Bigham finished with 18 points while Robertson had 14 points for the Rebels. Curtis Gordon had 21 points before fouling out in the second overtime. Terrance Roberts added 15 points and Jasiah Lewis had 14 for the Railsplitters (10-2).
In the first overtime, Curtis Gordon converted a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds left to tie it 66-66, sending it to a second overtime period.
“We’ve got enough left,” Butler said. “We are here to win. We are determined. I’m proud of our team.”
Riverside will face the winner of the Osceola, Florida vs. Karr contest for the championship Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a game you can watch live at CrescentCitySports.com.
“I just hope we have a little bit in the tank for tomorrow,” Byrd said.
Riverside 10 25 11 11 9 9 75
Lincoln 16 10 20 11 9 4 70
RA—Jared Butler 22, Isaiah Bigham 18, Garland Robertson 15, Kash Foley 11, Jalen Banks 7
Lincoln—Curtis Gordon 21, Terrence Roberts 15, KC Wu Ndeto 6, Josh Wilson 5, Phillip Harris 4, Omar Rowe 4, Brian Stevens 1
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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…