(Treynor) In the words of head coach Jason Shelangouski after the game, "It was ugly, but it was a win." Those are the words the Riverside head man used to describe his team's 23 win of the season, a 46-43 win against Underwood. The win is the 12 straight for the Bulldogs and lands them in a substate contest with Villisca Saturday.
A close, back and forth first half ended with a 6-0 Riverside run to give the Bulldogs a 24-19 halftime lead. The five point advantage at the break was the team's largest up to that point. Another 6-0 run, this one to start the second half, ballooned the lead to double figures. Ricky Williams scored 12 points in each half to lead the way with 24. Ean Patrick joined him in double figures with 10. Riverside's largest lead grew to as large as 14 before Underwood made sure Riverside had to earn it down the stretch. The Eagles quickly cut the lead to seven points in the third quarter and got the game to within six, at 39-33, going to the final eight minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter Riverside never trailed, but Underwood had a plethora of opportunities to take the lead. Riverside held a one point lead for much of the late stages of the game, but stretched it to 4 with a big three from Brady Ryun with 2:44 remaining. Trailing by three with :23 seconds left, Underwood had the ball and got three tries from beyond the arc thanks to their offensive rebounding, but none would fall.
Underwood bows out with a 14-10 record. It was their third loss to Riverside this season. The Bulldogs go back to the substate tourney, the same round in which they were eliminated by Exira-EHK two years ago. This time around they have a 23-1 record and twelve straight wins. They oppose a Villisca squad that is 22-4 and coming off of a district final win over Sidney.
Click here for the interview with Riverside coach Jason Shelangouski