Hornets complete sweep with OT rally
Hillside swept both ends of a crosstown rivalry doubleheader at Riverside on Friday night, escaping the upset-determined Pirates 56-50 in the girls’ opener and pulling out a 62-58 overtime win in the boys’ nightcap.
Trevion Thompson got a reprieve when what appeared to be a clean block by 6-7 Riverside center Mike Tillotson on the 6-3 Thompson’s baseline try was waved off.
A foul on Tillotson hitting Thompson with the body was called on the play, and Thompson hit a free throw to tie the boys’ game with 4.1 seconds left in regulation.
Thompson had missed the first of his two free throws and was forced to survive a Riverside (7-9, 1-3 PAC-6) attempt to ice him with a timeout before the second.
Thompson’s make came after freshman point guard Justice Kithcart hit a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Riverside a 52-51 lead with 43 seconds left and Riverside’s Dexter McCrae missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11.9 seconds left.
In overtime, Hillside (12-4, 3-1) sophomore R.J. Johnson Jr. opened the scoring with his second 3-pointer of the night, set up by a D’Ontray Johnson pass 31 seconds in. Riverside missed four of six on three straight trips to the line in a two-minute span in which Hillside failed to score.
The Hornets answered by hitting seven of eight from the line before missing a meaningless pair with 5.1 seconds left.
“What a game,” Hillside coach Crasten Davis said. “We’re coming off a rivalry loss (at home) to Jordan and have to come in (Riverside’s) house tonight. That’s a good team. We were real resilient tonight. R.J.’s 3 was huge. He’s off-balance and he makes it.”
First-year Riverside coach Brian Strickland said his young team — Kithcart and fellow freshman Michael Hodge (six points, team-high eight rebounds) were team leaders — showed it is on the road to success.
“It’s a very tough loss,” Strickland said. “Hillside’s very tough. Give them credit for fighting back. But I’m proud of our guys for continuing to fight to the end.”
In the girls’ game, Riverside (7-9, 1-3) started quickly, riding 6-2 sophomore center Moné Jones (14 points, 13 rebounds) to a 14-11 lead. Jones had six points and six rebounds in the period.
But Hillside (14-2, 4-0) inserted star senior forward Jordyn Smith into the lineup to defend Jones to start the second quarter, and the Hornets went on an 18-6 roll to take a 29-20 lead at the break. The Hornets hit eight of 12 from the line in the quarter, and Hillside guards Justine Lyons (team highs of 15 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three assists) and Mylea McKennith (14 points, three steals) ratcheted up the defensive pressure that forced Riverside into 18 of its 25 turnovers in the first half.
Riverside pulled even at 42 with back-to-back three-point plays by Zaria Rogers to open the fourth quarter. Again Hillside had the answer — almost all of it from the free throw line. The Hornets scored a pair of layups in the fourth quarter, but hit 11 of 14 from the line to close it out. Riverside’s last points came on a 15-foot jumper by Jones with 2:30 left.
NOTES — The Hillside boys were without forward Korrin Wiggins on Friday night, who is on a football recruiting trip at Clemson.
Hillside (B) 62, Riverside 58
HILLSIDE — D’Ontray Johnson 6, R.J. Robinson Jr. 13, Malik Evans 14, Ty’Quon Reid 2, Trevion Thompson 7, Marius McAllister 2, De’Shon Self 14, Timothy Mangum 1, Emanuel McGirt Jr. 2.
RIVERSIDE — Michael Hodge 6, Mark Harris 2, Al Hughes 12, Dexter McCrae 2, Justice Kithcart 12, Jake Kusz 8, Jordan Jones 2, Mike Tillotson 13.
3-point FG—Hillside 4 (Self 2, Robinson 2), Jordan 5 (Kusz 2, Kithcart 2, Hughes). Rebounds—Hillside 26 (Thompson 6), Jordan 29 (Hodge 8). Blocked shots—Hillside 1 (Robinson), Jordan 7 (Tillotson 4, McCrae, Hodge, Jones). Steals—Hillside 12 (Self 3), Jordan 4 (McCrae 2). Assists—Hillside 12 (Reid 3), Jordan 16 (Kithcart 9). Turnovers—Hillside 13 (Evans 3), Jordan 21 (Tillotson 4, Hughes 4).
Records—Hillside 12-4, 3-1 PAC-6 4-A; Jordan 7-9, 1-3.
Hillside (G) 56, Riverside 50
HILLSIDE — Tykyrah Williams 8, Mylea McKennith 14, Justine Lyons 15, Mya Webb 6, Teri Crews 3, Jordyn Smith 1, Daesha Marshall 7.
RIVERSIDE — Zaria Rogers 9, Andrea’Anna Pool 4, Yakima Clifton 6, Atlanta Woodall 4, Meghan Pleasants 8, Kiara Jacobs 2, Chameseya Moye 2, Moné Jones 14.
3-point FG—Hillside 2 (Webb, McKennith). Rebounds—Hillside 43 (Lyons 11), Jordan 45 (Jones 13). Blocked shots—Hillside 3 (Lyons 2, Marshall), Jordan 6 (Jones 5). Steals—Hillside 10 (Lyons 6), Jordan 7 (Rogers 3). Assists—Hillside 8 (Lyons 3), Jordan 10 (Clifton 2, Woodall 2, Rogers 2). Turnovers—Hillside 13 (Lyons 3), Jordan 25 (Jacobs 7).
Records—Hillside 14-2, 4-0 PAC-6 4-A; Riverside 7-9, 1-3.