Riverside rolls into Tobacco Road final
Riverside’s Al Hughes took over on his home floor in the nightcap of the winners’ bracket Friday at the Tobacco Road Holiday Basketball Invitational.
Hughes posted 30 points in a 70-63 win over Southeast Raleigh, positioning the Pirates to play for the tournament championship against Charlotte’s Northside Christian Academy at 8:20 p.m.
Northside beat Northern 69-52 in the first game of the winners’ bracket. The Knights will face Southeast Raleigh at 6:40 p.m. today.
Riverside was playing without freshman point guard Justice Kithcart, who was on the bench with an injury after scoring 20 points in the opening round of the tournament.
The Pirates began cutting into Southeast Raleigh’s 32-29 halftime lead with three 3-pointers early in the third period from Hughes.
Hughes would knock down two more 3-pointers, including one after shaking his defender at the top of the arc.
Not only was Hughes huge, but Riverside big men Jordan Jones and Mike Tillotson — both standing 6-8 — combined for 23 points.
Some of Tillotson’s 15 points came on dunks, and he blocked several Southeast Raleigh shots.
After the game, Hughes said he needed to manufacture more points than normal with Kithcart sitting out.
“I started feeling it,” Hughes said.
Southeast Raleigh felt it, too.
“Everything we threw at him, he answered,” Southeast Raleigh coach John Baker III said about Hughes. “He just played one of those heck of a games.”
Riverside coach Brian Strickland said Mike Singletary and Jordan McCain filled in nicely for Kithcart.
“My concern was never not having, necessarily, Justice,” Strickland said. “My concern was the change within the team, but I felt like my team really responded well to that change. Guys that don’t necessarily get that time or their number called, they stepped up tonight.”
In the early game of the winners’ bracket, the execution that got the Knights a victory in the opening round of the tournament wasn’t there on Day 2, Northern coach Ronnie Russell said.
“We kind of shied away early, and it hurt us,” Russell said. “They kind of got in the flow of the game, and we never really got in the flow.”
Northside’s defense was too much for the Knights in the second half, Russell said.
“We had way too many turnovers, and that killed us,” Russell said. “We didn’t look for each other. We didn’t hit the boards like we normally do. That’s part of the game. We’ve got to attack, man. We didn’t attack, and that’s part of what we do is attack. We didn’t attack this game.”
Northern’s inability to execute was partly due to the Knights’ mental lapses, but Northside created some of those problems with its length, Russell said.
Riverside will have to deal with that this evening.
Riverside 70, Southeast Raleigh 63
SOUTHEAST RALEIGH — William Walker 18, Ke’Vel Kingsberry 4, Justin Morris 19, Myles Harris 5, Demetri Lyons 5, Demetrius Sanders 10, Tavis Purdue 2
RIVERSIDE — Mark Harris 4, Jordan McCain 4, Al Hughes 30, Mike Singletary 6, Jake Kusz 3, Jordan Jones 8, Mike Tillotson 15
Records—Southeast Raleigh 6-5, Riverside 7-5
Northside 69, Northern 52
NORTHSIDE — Keyshawn Woods 16, James Demery 11, Luke Morrison 5, Phillip Reed 6, Jeremy Ritter 6, Austin Dasent 11, Charles Minlend 3, Addison Holmes 11
NORTHERN — Ryan Arundale 3, Jaquan Harris 4, Kentrell Barkley 13, Dillon Leovic 2, Ricky Council II 13, Kourtney Farrow 8, Avion Jordan 2, T.J. Bell 2, Emmett Tilley 5
Records—Northside 9-1, Northern 7-5