Riverside, Williams too much for Wolverines

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    Ricky Williams scored a game-high 24 points and Riverside held East Mills to 11 second-half points in a 54-36 Class 1A, District 15 basketball victory last Tuesday.

    “Daniel Duysen got into foul trouble early, he had two fouls in the first two minutes so he had to sit out the rest of the quarter, and they went for 22 points in that quarter,” said East Mills coach Kevin Schafer.
    The Wolverines (12-10 overall, 6-5 in the Corner Conference) settled into a groove in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 12-8 in the frame and coming within a rimmed-out shot at the halftime buzzer of trailing by three at the break. As it was, Riverside led 30-25 at the half.
    The Wolverines seized the momentum on defense in the third quarter, holding Riverside to nine third-quarter points, but the East Mills offense couldn’t make the same leap. They managed just two points on offense.
    “We hold them to nine points and we fall seven points further behind,” said Schafer. “We had a lot of good looks, we just didn’t hit them. Their coach probably thinks their defense is awesome but we just didn’t hit shots.”
    Using a diamond-and-1 zone, the Bulldogs limited Wolverine leading scorer Luke Schafer to just five points. Schafer entered the game averaging 18.5 points per game. No one stepped up to fill that scoring gap, coach Schafer said.
    “If we’re patient on offense, we got good shots every time. Some of the shots we hit in the second quarter didn’t fall the rest of the way,” said Schafer.
    Charlie Ruff scored all 12 of his points for East Mills in the first half.
    “That really kept us in the game,” said Schafer. “But those same shots didn’t fall for us in the second half.”
    Schafer knew Williams, a  6-foot-7, 230 pound sophomore, was a difficult task for his defense. Williams scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a 43-33 Riverside win over East Mills on Feb. 8.
    “We knew there was no way we were going to stop him,” Schafer said of the. “And I told the boys we’d have to score at least in the 40s, maybe even break 50 and we struggled offensively. Outside of the second quarter, we just didn’t play well on offense.”