Riverside claws past Spring Valley
SPRING VALLEY -- The Spring Valley Timberwolves had Riverside right where they wanted them.
Then one bad thing after another started to happen in the third quarter, and the Warriors took advantage on their way to a 76-70 road win Tuesday night.
Greg Herbert, who led Spring Valley (2-2) in scoring in the first half with 15 points, suffered an injury to his hand with 6:16 to go in the third quarter, and, though he would return to the game, he wouldn't score again.
With 3:47 to go in the third, the Timberwolves led Riverside (3-0) 52-42, when Spring Valley starter Josh Steele picked up his fourth foul.
Riverside went on a 15-2 run to close out the quarter, suddenly leading the Timberwolves 57-56.
"We have to do a better job of closing out quarters," Timberwolves head coach Cory Maynard said.
Of course, it wasn't all just bad luck. Riverside started finding success with their press, hitting threes against a 2-3 zone and then taking the ball to the rim when the defense broke down.
By the end of the third quarter, Spring Valley looked disorganized and a little tired.
"I'm not going to blame it on us running out of gas," Maynard said. "We have to play smarter to close out quarters and we've got to stop people."
Spring Valley would knot the game at 59 in the fourth quarter, but would never regain the lead.
"We got a little crazy running the floor," said Timberwolves center Jacob Kilgore, who finished with a game-high 31 points. "We should have slowed it down. They were a little deeper than us, but that's no excuse."
Riverside was having trouble getting any shots to fall throughout most of the game, but stuck two threes in that 15-2 run, and started getting penetration layups in the fourth quarter.
Going to the basket was something head coach Dusty Herscher had tried to get Riverside to do all game, he said.
"We made some outside shots which opened us up going to the basket a little more," he said. "I told them at the half to take it to the basket because it was there all night.
"I told them at the half we were either going to go home with a loss or a win and it was up to them."
Herscher said he's been preaching tough defense, driving to the basket and playing as a team all season, and he thought the team accomplished that in the second half Tuesday night.
As Spring Valley came a bit unhinged late, the Warriors got stronger, knocking free throws down late and keeping control of the ball on offense.
"Last year, that would have been vice versa," Herscher said. "We would have folded and probably gotten beat by 15.
"But from practice day one this season we've been focused on beating teams in the fourth quarter and not going home with a loss if we can win."
Herscher called it a tough win for his team.
"We're all the way in Belle, they're all the way on the other side of Huntington, and it's hard to come here and win," he said. "Spring Valley plays really, really hard -- probably the hardest-playing team I've seen in a while, and I'm just glad to get out of here with a win."
RIVERSIDE 18 18 23 15 -- 76: Tyus Wood 18, Nick Light 17 (19 rebounds), Marcus Reed 13, Josh Butcher 11, Womack 8, Brock 2, Lawson 5.
SPRING VALLEY 20 24 14 12 -- 70: Jacob Kilgore 31, Greg Herbert 15, Josh Steele 11, Keyser 8, Meade 5.