PAINESVILLE - On Friday night the home Riverside Beavers pulled together a big upset and won over the visiting Madison Blue Streaks by a score of 78 to 70.
The Blue Streaks (12-2) started the game on a 5-0 run and seemed to be able to get inside under the post area pretty easily. The royal blue and white Madison kept this advantage through most of the first quarter until right before the end of the first quarter of play when Nick Mlakar dished off the ball to Jameson Campbell for a huge three pointer on the right wing.
Campbell scored 11 points in the first quarter alone and ended up having a much bigger night than that.
But that put the score at 21-15 in Madison’s favor after the first quarter of play.
With 5 minutes and 35 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter Riverside (4-9) had rallied back to be only down 4 points, 26 to 22.
The Beavers big moment that changed all of the momentum in the game happened with 2 minutes and 4 seconds left to go when Anthony DiFranco scored on a big three pointer, a steal later and Kenny Skully swished a three pointer of his own.
This gave the white, yellow, and black Beavers their first lead of the game now up 32 to 20.
DiFranco would make another big play right before half on a long rebound off a missed a free throw that he went cross court to score on a wild layup at the buzzer.
That basket would allow the Beavers to double up Madison 24 to 12 in the second quarter of play, and take the lead 39 to 33 at halftime.
The Beavers continued to play with upped intensity in the third quarter and was able to extend their lead to 10 points, up 45 to 35 with 6 minutes and 37 seconds left to go.
With 2 minutes and 45 seconds left Brandon Yeater had a big layup with a free throw to follow to go up 51 to 47.
This was all a part of a Madison comeback that featured an 8-0 run.
Then for the third straight quarter in a row Riverside ended with a successful shot at the buzzer. This time it was a pass from Nate Sleek to Kenny Skully for a big time three pointer. Riverside would win the third 20-18, to push their lead to 59 to 51 after three quarters of play.
Headed to the fourth quarter the Beavers were up 64 to 57 with 5 minutes and 51 seconds left. With about four minutes to go the lead was 6, 69 to 64.
Madison would end up hitting a buzzer beater at the end of the fourth, but it was too late, as the Beavers held on to win 78-70 in an intense game.
“We got beat. We just got beat. They took it to us. A wounded animal is more dangerous,” Madison head coach Pat Moran said.
“They played harder, executed more than us,” he added.
One person who really stepped it up for Riverside was number 10 Jameson Campbell. Campbell finished with a game high 29 points, including 4 three pointers, with 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 assists, and 1 block.
“We talk about how we can rely on him. He can score with the basketball. We count on him. He is one of our leading scorers,” Riverside head coach Tom Reilly said.
“I think I missed my first few shots. So I started to drive to open up my outside shot,” Campbell said.
“Our season has started off the way we want. We haven’t beat Madison in a long time,” he added.
“We gotta come to work everyday,” he added.
Another key Riverside performance was from Brandon Horn. Horn scored 12 points, all in the second half, with 5 rebounds, and 1 steal.
“For Brandon that’s the type of kid he is. He plays hard nosed. A coach’s dream. He comes up with big plays,” Reilly said.
“Pat does a great job over there, we gotta match it. We were ready. More consistent than we’ve been all year. It was a dogfight,” Reilly said.
“Those guys can score quickly,” he added.
One thing that was a difference maker was stopping all three of Madison’s big scorers from scoring. The Beavers held Dhel Duncan-Busby to 5 points on the night as he got in early foul trouble.
“We talked about it before. He got a couple of fouls. Can’t let all three get their numbers, take one of them,” Reilly added.
“I’m proud of em’. Get a signature win. Against a team like a talented Madison, use this for rest of the season,” he added.
Also having good games for the Beavers were DiFranco who scored 14 points, including 1 three pointer, with 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist, Skully who added 12 points, including 2 threes, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists, Sleek who scored 5 points, 1 three, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist, and Brandon Yeater who turned in a great hustle effort with 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist all for Riverside.
Madison head coach Moran said “We told em’ they played us well the first time. They think that that was enough to win. They got their lunches handed to em’.”
“Hopefully we learned something about this. You can’t take days off. Part of life is how you react to adversity. Get ready for next opponent,” Moran added.
“It’s part of what we did, part of what Riverside did,” he added.
The Blue Streaks were led by Zach Guyer who had 22 points, including 1 three pointer, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists, Corbin Anthony who had 22 points, 1 three pointer, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block, and Josh Ferry had 9 points, all in the second half, 1 three pointer, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, and 2 blocks all for Madison.
The Blue Streaks were 24-for-52 for field goals, with 15 turnovers and 29 fouls. Madison struggled from the free throw line going 17-for-34. They did score on 5 three pointers throughout the game.
Riverside was 26-for-53 for field goals, with 26 turnovers and 23 team fouls. The Beavers were 20-for-29 from the free throw line and made 8 three pointers throughout the game!
The game had a total of 52 whopping fouls!
Earlier in the night Riverside won the junior varsity game also by the score of 59 to 53.