RIVERTON - Riverton down 31-21 with only 4:39 left in the game, as in most of their contests this year, came back to beat Girard 42-36 last Tuesday on the Ram's home court.
Despite managing only one point in the first quarter and shooting 0-of-9 from the field and just 1-of-8 in the second quarter. The Rams managed to get their opponent to foul, putting the Rams at the line, and played shut-down defense in the fourth quarter.
"I felt lucky we didn't get shut out the first quarter," Ram's coach Zack Martin laughingly said of the slow start. "We moved the ball but we needed to move it with a purpose."
As mentioned, Riverton was down by 10 with four and a half minutes left. Within a minute the Ram's scores four for 31-25. Landon North sinks a free throw. Fifty seconds later, North stole the ball and with a basket brings the Rams down 31-28. Dylan Weaver 50 seconds later sank 2 free throws. 33-30 Girard. With 12 ticks gone, Girard gets called for a 5 second call.
Seldom used bench player senior Troy Eckhoff was inserted in the game and swishes a long 3-pointer. The first after 14 Riverton attempts. Quickly, North with another steal and basket and with .478 seconds left put the Rams in the lead for the first time 35-33.
"Credit Troy that he was ready when his number was called," Martin said of Eckhoff. "He might be our purest shooter."
After Spriggs two free throws, Girard came back to one with their own 3-point shot with .216 left. Stop the clock fouls and charity baskets added by Spriggs, Hunter Deckard, and Weaver sealed the victory.
As their season indicates, if Riverton are down and out in the fourth quarter, don't leave the game early.
North finished with 12 points with 8 in the final few minutes. Weaver and Spriggs each scored 8 and 7 rebounds. Chandler Underhill grabbed 9 boards.
With 11-14 shooting, Underhill's 28 points, with 19 at the half, and his 13 rebound performance, the Rams finally got a breather game that was needed. Riverton played to another unselfish victory with a different up-tempo style of play than any other game this season, beating Chetopa 76-36 last Friday.
Coach Martin felt after the game "we were much better all the way around, especially against the zone. Overall I was pleased. We're going into our heart of our schedule and we need to build on our momentum."
Spriggs, North, and Weaver each added 8 points. Spriggs had 9 rebounds, Weaver 7, and North 6. Austin
Sanders led the Hornets with 13 points and Tyler Pike had 10.
The 13-0 Rams play their next game at home Friday against a tough Galena team. Riverton in their first match had to come from behind with four minutes left to win 52-47. On Tuesday, Southeast Cherokee visits Riverton.