Devils turned away by host Riverside

WESTWEGO, (La.) — Two time defending champion Riverside Academy (La.) slid by Tift County 54-52 in a second round matchup at the fifth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Thursday. Riverside (10-3) advances to play Nachitoches Central Friday at 9pm in a winners bracket semifinal. The loss was the first for the Blue Devils, who came into the tournament with a 15-0 record.

The Runnin’ Rebels, 2014 2A state champs, held the lead for the majority of the game behind the hot shooting of Von Julien, Herb McGee, Jared Butler and Jordan Andrews. The Riverside quartet combined for eight three point baskets, with Butler nailing three from behind the arc off the bench. Timmy Byrd’s team led by as many as eight in the first quarter, with the Devils only taking one lead at 5-4 for a total of 25 seconds. Tyrie Jackson and Preston Horne scored all ten points for Tift.

Preston Horne does work in the paint. Horne finished with 14 of the 52 Tift points. Photo:Erin Parker/SGSN

Preston Horne does work in the paint. Horne finished with 14 of the 52 Tift points. Photo:Erin Parker/SGSN

The Devils would be outscored 18-16 in the second quarter, narrowing the gap to one early in the period. Tift would trail 29-26 after a Horne dunk with 1:45 remaining, but the Rebels would close the half on a 4-0 run over the final 30 seconds.

The Devils were able to outscore Riverside 12-8 in the third frame, closing to 37-33 with just over three minutes remaining after a Horne basket. Horne, Jackson and Micah Johnson scored the first 33 points of the game, before Iman Holley and Fred Lloyd each hit baskets to close the Riverside gap to 41-38 at the end of the third period.

The Rebels, after hitting eight three’s in the first half, only managed one in the entire second half as the Devil defense played well. Tift would tie the game at 42 with 6:12 to play after a Deion White three and the Devils would take their first lead since the first period on a Horne bucket. Tift took its final lead with three minutes to play on a Jackson three-ball, but the only trey of the second half from the Rebels would be huge, as Julien responded to give Riverside a 52-50 lead with 2:20 to play. Riverside would not give up the lead as Johnson’s shot with time waning would not fall.

Tift hit 14-17 from the free throw line while Riverside was 10-19. Titft was led by Jackson’s 21 points. Horne added 14, while Johnson contributed nine to the Tift cause. Riverside was very balanced in scoring, with Butler and Julien leading the way with 11 and 13, respectfully. The Devils will play Friday at 6pm against Salmen (La.).

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