With a season-opening win on the line against Mechanicsburg, Riverside’s boys basketball team knew who was getting the ball.
Benjamin Logan’s Tanner Rader chases down a loose ball during the second half of their game against Botkins Friday at the Ben Logan Tip-Off Classic. The Raiders
The Pirates inbounded the basketball to senior standout Dalton Bollinger. He hit a layup underneath the basket with 9.5 seconds remaining to give his team a 54-53 lead over the Indians Friday in the opening round of the Benjamin Logan Tip-Off Classic.
It would prove to be game-winning bucket as the Indians were unable to get a good look at the bucket in the final seconds.
“We run a lot of plays for Dalton,” said Riverside first-year head coach Daniel Hickman. “He is reliable and we know we can count on him in clutch situations. He is a senior captain and it was a no brainer to go to him.”
Riverside (1-0) faces host Benjamin Logan (1-0) in the championship game at 8 p.m. tonight.
M’burg held a 49-43 lead entering the final quarter, but the Pirates were able to go on an 11-4 run to rally for the win.
“Your first reaction is to be critical and think what you could have done better,” said Hickman. “I’m proud of our composure, though, at the end of the game. We handled the pressure well.”
The Indians led 18-17 after the opening quarter, but the Pirates battled back to outscore M’burg 16-13 in the second period.
That gave Riverside a 33-31 advantage at halftime.
Mechanicsburg grabbed the momentum back in the third quarter, going on an 18-10 spurt to grab a six-point cushion.
Riverside then came through with its big fourth quarter to pull out the win.
“I think we could have done better defensively,” said Hickman. “We like to hang our hat on defense and we struggled with that in the second and third quarters. We were able to push the ball up the court and find a way to win.”
Bollinger led the Pirates with 18 points and Landon Kelsey added 16 points in the win.
“We absolutely want to win it now, but we’ve got to keep a level head,” said Hickman. “It was nice to get that win, but we have to put it behind us now and move on to the next game. We have to come prepared, and if we do that, we can play with anyone.”
RIVERSIDE 54 MECHANICSBURG 53
Kelsey 7 0-0 16; Crawford 1 0-0 2; Kean 3 0-0 6; Lane 1 0-0 2; Bollinger 8 2-4 18; Walters 1 0-1 2. Totals: 25 2-5 54.
Bogan 6 0-1 14; McMannis 1 0-0 2; Callicoat 4 1-2 9; Weleg 0 2-2 2; Cushman 3 0-0 9; Holley 6 0-0 17. Totals: 20 3-5 53.
Pirates 17 16 10 11 — 54
Indians 18 13 18 4 — 53
Three pointers: Riverside 2 (Kelsey 2); Mechanicsburg 10 (Holley 6, Cushman 3, Bogan 2). Turnovers: Riverside 12; Mechanicsburg 11. Team fouls: Riverside 10; Mechanicsburg 11.