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River Tops Shadyside

Photo by Kim North River’s Kabel Isaly, left, looks to get past Shadyside’s Holden Salgat during Friday night’s prep basketball action. The Pilots won the game to remain unbeaten.

HANNIBAL — River remained undefeated Friday night in boys’ basketball action, and a big reason why was its defense.

The Pilots (5-0) forced 24 Shadyside turnovers — 14 of those in the decisive middle two quarters — en route to a 45-35 come-from-behind victory before a loud crowd inside R.L. Potts Gymnasium.

Trailing 20-15 with 2-minutes, 21-seconds left in the second quarter, River went on a 23-3 that ended the first half and used up four-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter in building a 38-23 advantage.

“I thought we did an excellent job defensively. We held them to 20 points in the first half and they had 23 until late in the game,” veteran River head coach Mark Romick noted. “We played excellent on defense.”

The Pilots were behind 20-16 at the break before a Brody Longwell basket 29 seconds into the third quarter made it 20-18 and prompted veteran Shadyside head coach Ed Andes into a 30-second timeout.

Following a brief break, Korey Beckett nailed one of his four bonus goals and the Tigers led 23-18 with 6:39 on the clock. Little did anyone know, but that would be the Tigers last points until Beckett scored with 2:50 left to play.

River used a Longwell bucket sandwiched by two Brody Lollathin triples to lead 26-23 after three quarters. Lollathin’s second bonus goal with 3:11 showing gave the hosts their first lead since the opening minute of play.

Kam Potts ignited a 12-0 spurt to start the final panel with a trey and Kabel Isaly netted six straight before Potts brought the crowd to their feet with another long-distance basket as the margin increased to 38-23, forcing Andes to burn another timeout.

“We came out in the second half and played a little smarter on offense. We forced some shots in the first half but we settled down in the second half and were able to hit some big shots,” Romick noted.

Potts led a balanced River scoring attack with 12 points, all coming on three’s. Lollathin added 11 while Isaly and Longwell evenly divided 20.

“Kam has the capability to light it up (from the outside) and Kabel is such a heady ballplayer. He does so many things well.”

Shadyside shot 50 percent from the floor, but the problem was it only got off 28 shots compared to 42 for River.

“We didn’t shoot bad,” Andes noted. “But how many offensive rebounds did you have for us? I don’t have us for any. That’s another factor and we lost by 10.”

Beckett was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points. University of Tulane baseball recruit Bryce Amos added 10.

Shadyside held a 21-20 edge off the glass as Amos and Karl Tsoras had five each. Isaly had five for River.

The Pilots charted just 10 turnovers, with only three coming after the half.

On being 5-0, Romick said, “We’ve told the kids that the season is 22 games long. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Each night out you’ve got to get better. I think the first half tonight taught us something for the second half.”

“We’re still trying to get our basketball legs. This is only game three for us, so we’ll get there,” Andes said. “We just got mentally tired and physically tired in the second half.”

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