Tough Loss For The Cats
February 27, 2013South Bend Riley High School
In the first game, Clay (14-8) held off a monster comeback from Riley (12-9) to advance to Friday’s 6 p.m. matchup against Penn (16-4).
In the nightcap, Adams (19-2) used a 3-pointer to take the lead from Mishawaka (10-11) in the final minute and secure a spot against Washington (9-11) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Clay 74, Riley 71: As shot after shot continued to fall for Clay in the first quarter Tuesday night, it looked like the Wildcats’ would end with a whimper under a Colonial barrage.
A 34-point first quarter gave Clay a 20-point lead early, but Riley would slowly chip away in the second half after going to the locker room down 49-31.
In a game it never led, Riley had the ball with 40.9 seconds left, trailing 71-69, but an inbounds pass went just wide of its target in a missed opportunity. A Clay free throw and baskets from each team finished the game with a 74-71 Colonial advantage.
Three-pointers proved the difference at the start of the game for Clay, allowing the team to build just enough of a lead to hold off Riley.
“That’s by far the best first quarter we’ve had all year,” Clay head coach Joe Huppenthal said of his team’s 11 field goals, five 3-pointers, and seven free throws in the opening period. “That’s what tournament play is about. You want to be playing your best at the end. For a half, I thought we looked pretty good. The second half, we were just a little bit tentative in what we were trying to do.”
Clay guard Taron Miller scored 13 points in the first quarter, but also played a role in finding open teammates against a Riley zone defense. Marcus Wilkerson (nine points) and Darren Taylor (eight) made good on those opportunities in the first quarter.
“We didn’t expect them to come out and shoot the ball the way they did,” said Riley head coach Mark Johnson “They shot it exceptionally well, whether it was against our zone or against our man (defense).”
For Riley, Brock Cosey had 12 first-half points but was held scoreless in the second half and fouled out in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. So Ja’mare Washington and Torreay picked up the slack to power the comeback. Washington finished with a team-high 19 points and 14 rebounds and Harris scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
“He stepped it up,” Johnson said of Harris. “I don’t know of any of our players that didn’t step it up. ... Sometimes the ball doesn’t go into the hole, but you can never not have maximum effort. Tonight we had maximum effort.”
Miller remained steady throughout, providing important possessions in the second half.
“When Taron had the ball in his hands we were in good shape,” Huppenthal said. “He’s our leader, he’s our point guard. That’s where you want the ball at the end. It’s oxygen to the brain.”
Miller, managing 30 points without hoarding shots, said he took what the defense gave him on a night that he didn’t want his high school career to end.
“If they got up on me, I just went by them,” Miller said. “If they gave me space, I sat there and made a play for another teammate.”
RILEY (71): Ja’mare Washington 9 1-4 19, Brock Cosey 5 0-1 12, Torreay Harris 2 8-8 12, Reontre’ Lawrence 5 1-3 11, Micah Williams 3 0-0 8, Miquan Patton 2 0-0 5, Keyshawn Winbush 2 0-0 4, Thadius Phillips 0 0-0 0, Joshua Hodge 0 0-0 0, TOTALS: 28 10-16 71.
CLAY (74): Taron Miller 10 9-12 30, Marcus Wilkerson 6 2-3 17, Darren Taylor 6 0-1 14, Martavious Richmond 3 2-2 8, Kenny Jones 1 0-3 2, Dion Harris 1 0-0 2, Emeka Andrews 0 1-2 1, Khalin Diggins 0 0-0 0, Gilbert Williams 0 0-0 0, TOTALS: 27 14-23 74.