Murfreesboro,TN (01/06) Oakland High Patriots Basketball defeated the Riverdale High Warriors 58-53 in the long-time rivals’ first 7-AAA game of the season at Riverdale High School.
This was the first District 7-AAA game for both teams and the first meeting of these rivals this season. The Oakland-Riverdale rivalry has been going on since 1972, and the Johnny Parsley Memorial Gymnasium at Riverdale was jam-packed on both sides to see this installment of the ongoing feud.
The game began as a defensive battle and both teams found it hard to hit the basket. Riverdale’s Desmond Paul struck first and gave Riverdale the two point lead a minute and thirty seconds into the game. Riverdale would lead for almost 2 minutes before Ryan Givens tied the game with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter. The battle was low scoring but the Patriots began slowly pulling ahead. When the quarter expired the Patriots were in charge at 12-4.
The Patriots picked up where they left off in the first quarter and quickly extended their lead to 20-4 half way through the second quarter. When Desmond Paul hit the basket for the third time at 4:10 left in the quarter, it had been seven minutes and twenty-two seconds since Riverdale last scored. Desmond Paul dropped in a three pointer to close the deficit to 22-9 with 2:42 to go in the half. A basket by Ricky Dunaway extended the Patriot lead to 27-14 to end the first half.
Even though Oakland dominated the first half, the Warriors held their own in the third quarter. The third quarter was tied 14-14 in points scored but as time expired a technical foul by Riverdale’s coach gave the Patriots a two point bonus. The third quarter ended with the Patriots ahead 43-28. Although the Warriors did not shorten the lead, they certainly proved the game was not over.
Oakland scored just 25 seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Warriors went on a spree wracking up 8 unanswered points. Closing the deficit to 45-36 rejuvenated the crowd as well as the Riverdale players. A basket by Kyle Oliver at 6:11 stopped the Warrior spree. Marcelous Odom made a 3 point shot with 2:20 remaining, to move them within 8 points at 54-46. Three points by Steven Wilson and a two pointer by Donya Burnett brought the score to 57-53 with 14 seconds left, but the fourth quarter and the game expired with the Patriots on top 58-53. The Patriots last 7 points scored came from free throws.
Tonights game moved Riverdale to 9-7 overall and 0-1 in district 7-AAA and advanced Oakland to 8-8 overall and 1-0 in district 7-AAA for the season. Riverdale will meet District 7-AAA foe LaVergne on Tuesday 01/10 and Oakland will play District 7-AAA opponent Siegel on the same night. Oakland and Riverdale will have a rematch on Friday 01/27.