District 2 Game Boys Recap (Holy Cross vs. Riverside)
Written by: Jon K on Friday, January 17th, 2020
January 16, 2020
Riverside Upsets Holy Cross
Riverside Vikings 66, Holy Cross Crusaders 62
TAYLOR – While the weather outside may have been downright frightful, things slowly began to heat up inside the Riverside gymnasium Thursday evening. Highly-regarded Holy Cross found themselves in the midst of very physical matchup in which the Vikings repeatedly attacked the basket and successfully got to the charity stripe…often. And they made the most of their opportunities hitting 25 of 33 free throws, including 15 of 18 by junior guard Brandon Reed (28 total points). This one was a classic example of why fans should expect (and embrace) the unexpected across the district this season. There were 7 ties in the ball game, Holy Cross led 7 times, and Riverside has 5 leads, including the final two minutes of the ball game.
The Crusaders dictated the early pace, taking a 15-6 lead following a Kieran Burrier triple and Leahy O’Connor basket. Todd Monahan hit back-to-back baskets before a Burrier bucket gave Holy Cross a 17-12 edge heading into the second period. After Patrick Bennie hit a pair of free throws to give HC a 21-14 advantage, the Vikes would go on a 14-5 run to take the lead following another Monahan basket. The Crusaders sandwiched a Doug Walsh triple around yet another Monahan score to go into the locker room trailing 30-29.
The third quarter was close throughout as the Vikings really started to get some excellent ball movement going. Following ties at 32 and 34, O’Connor gave Holy Cross the lead back at 36-34. There was then an extended play stoppage and referee discussion after Cross Mercado (Riverside) got injured while attempting a shot. He went to the free throw line but was unable to continue following his missed free throw. Monahan was eventually permitted to take the second foul shot. Later in the stanza, Michael Rickert hit a smooth turnaround jumper to again knot the game at 37. It was the start of a 6-0 run for Riverside. Another Walsh triple for the Crusaders and a pair of free throws from Rickert put the Vikes up 45-40 after three periods. The final quarter featured tremendous hustle by both squads. Following a Burrier putback, Collin Kneiss and Reed responded with scores to extend the lead to 7 points (51-44). The Crusaders then rallied to tie the game at 51 with two field goals by Burrier and a triple by O’Connor. With under 90 seconds remaining and the Vikes leading 57-55, Kneiss would make a pair of tremendous plays – grab a sensational rebound and later when trapped in the corner on the far end, he found Reed who broke free. Riverside would secure this one from the free throw line to win, 66-62, and set off a wild celebration.
The teams combined to hit 42 of 57 free throws. Brandon Reed netted 28 points for Riverside, followed by Michael Rickert with 16, and Todd Monahan with 11. Kieran Burrier led the Crusaders with 21 followed by Leahy O’Connor with 17, and Patrick Bennie with 10 (all free throws).
Follow LLhoops on Twitter @LLhoops