Carpenter's bucket lifts Riverside past Hillside on road
C.J. Carpenter readily admitted he hadn’t “done much” for nearly all of Riverside’s game at Hillside on Tuesday night.
But when it counted, the junior guard did it all. Carpenter drilled a 3-pointer with 22.4 seconds left as his Pirates completed a stunning 46-44 comeback victory.
The bucket was his first of the game, but it was enough to make him a hero for the night.
“I guess so,” Carpenter said. “I hadn’t really done much up until that point. It was all my teammates. Once I was in that one spot one time, I was able to hit the shot.”
Carpenter is a reserve guard for the Pirates (11-10, 3-4 PAC-6), and he only played a handful of minutes without taking a shot until the final minute. In a slugfest of a game, Hillside (10-9, 3-4) grabbed a 43-39 lead with 1:08 to play on a three-point play by Lashone McCrae.
But Riverside didn’t wilt, with Joey Cabrera draining a clutch 3 with 47.7 seconds left to get the Pirates within one. Hillside’s Robert Robinson Jr. made one of two free throws — after getting fouled by Carpenter — before the winning play.
“Markeise (Crutchfield) had got it in the post, and he’s been taking it to the hoop the entire time,” Carpenter said of Riverside’s big man. “That one time, they doubled him down low, and he kicked it out to me, and I was able to hit it.
“I kind of blocked out everything that had happened before that, and I caught it and knew I was going to knock the shot down.”
The Hornets had two more chances, but Riverside’s defense prevented Justice Kithcart from getting one shot off and, after Carpenter made one of two free throws, a running jumper by Robinson didn’t go down as time expired.
“He’s a tough kid,” Riverside coach Brian Strickland said of Carpenter. “He’s really worked on fighting through mistakes. Being able to keep his head in the game tonight was the culmination of the hard work he’s put in all year.”
Trevion Thompson scored 20 points for the Hornets, who trailed only briefly early in the third and fourth quarters. But Hillside struggled from the floor, making only 19 of 51 shots and missing all eight 3-point attempts.
Riverside had offensive problems of its own, going 5:54 without a point in the second quarter. But after shooting 28 percent in the first half, the Pirates sank 12 of 22 in the final 16 minutes, including four of nine 3s.
“We try to emphasize the next play,” Strickland said. “We had a tough loss last night (against Northern) where we started strong and kind of lost it in the second half. We focused on the next play, 32 minutes, fighting.”
That’s what happened Tuesday.
“We fight a lot,” Carpenter said. “We’ve lost a lot of close games this year. The way we were able to pull this one out with the fight we had, that was great. It really showed our toughness and our character as a team.”
Riverside 46, Hillside 44
Riverside 8 9 13 16—46
Hillside 12 6 12 14—44
RIVERSIDE — Markeise Crutchfield 14, Joey Cabrera 11, Dexter McCrae 8, Eric Peaks 5, C.J. Carpenter 4, Torren Wynn 4.
HILLSIDE — Trevion Thompson 20, Robert Robinson Jr. 8, Lashone McCrae 5, Malik Evans 4, Jarrod France 4, Justice Kitchcart 3.
3-point goals—Riverside 5 (McCrae 2, Carpenter 1, Cabrera 1, Peaks 1). Total fouls—Riverside 13, Hillside 15.
Records—Riverside 11-10, 3-4 PAC-6 4-A; Hillside 10-9, 3-4 PAC-6.
Hillside 69, Riverside 47
Riverside 7 14 13 13—47
Hillside 19 18 14 18—69
RIVERSIDE — Kiara Jacobs 16, Zara Rogers 9, Andrea-Anna Poole 9, Yakima Clifton 6, Moné Jones 6, Atlanta Woodall 1.
HILLSIDE — Justine Lyon 21, Tykyrah Williams 19, Zuri White 14, Kelbi Lewis 5, Khara Herring 3, Elisia Grissett 2, Mya Webb 2, Victoria Powell 2, Brittany Powell 1.
3-point goals—Riverside 1 (Poole 1), Hillside 4 (Lewis 1, Williams 1, Lyon 1, Herring 1). Fouled out—Jacobs. Total fouls—Riverside 15, Hillside 19.
Records—Riverside 13-6, 5-2 PAC-6 4-A; Hillside 15-5, 6-1 PAC-6.