Rebels go 0-3 against 2A opponents

Nathan Oster

The Riverside Rebels treated a three-game stretch of games against Greybull, Shoshoni and Big Horn as an opportunity to measure themselves against Class 2A opponents before heading into the final stretch of games against conference opponents.
While their overall record took a hit, as the Rebels lost all three contests to drop to  4-14, Coach Scott Winters saw things he liked about his team’s performances and believes it will be better off in the long run from the experience.
Slow starts were a problem in all three games, as after one quarter, Riverside trailed Greybull by seven, Shoshoni by 13 and Big Horn by 10. Forced to play catch up, the Rebels showed resilience, but ultimately fell to Greybull 57-45, Shoshoni 71-64 and Big Horn 65-44.
A variety of factors led to Riverside’s demise against Greybull, starting with “a lot of nerves” at at the outset “because the boys really wanted to play well against them.”  
While they eventually calmed down, a bigger problem was that the Rebels had no answer for Carlos Rodriguez, as the Greybull senior poured in 27 points. “We weren’t able to slow him down,” said Winters, adding, “I felt like defensively we did a great job limiting the opportunities of their other guys.”
On the offensive end, the Rebels had 20 turnovers. Josh Wildman was the only player in double figures with 11. “We had a pretty balanced scoring attack, but we needed somebody to have a big game offensively for us to win and that didn’t happen,” said Winters.
After getting hyped to play the Buffs, the Rebels experienced a letdown against Shoshoni. Their “lethargic” play in the first quarter allowed Shoshoni to build an 18-2 lead before Riverside banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 15.
“We responded well after that, but unfortunately that big hole we dug early on was too much to overcome and we weren’t able to get the win,” said Winters. “We started full court pressing in the fourth and that generated a lot of steals and transition offense for us. Once we were able to get our rhythm and momentum in the second half we started making our shots. We ran out of time and had to start fouling, which led to two of our starters fouling out and they hit their free throws down the stretch.”
Hayden Paxton led with 19 points and 17 boards while Ryder Kozisek and Hyson Hill chipped in 17 and 11 points, respectively.
The Big Horn game followed the same script. “I think that we went into this game feeling like they were better than us and that led to another slow start,” said Winters. “They pressed us early on and we did a great job of breaking it, but we weren’t able to score off of it.
“We weren’t able to rebound as well as I would have liked and when you struggle to score and aren’t able to rebound it’s hard to generate any offense.”
Wildman and Kozisek paced the Rebels with 12 points apiece.
While the losses sting, Winters still saw some benefit in the tough three-game stretch. “We competed well in each game and did some good things offensively and defensively. We saw a variety of presses and half court defenses that made us need to adapt and change our strategy and I thought we did a great job of switching things up and adapting to the game,” he said. “These were all 2A teams and I feel like facing 2A teams is going to help us as we face some more conference opponents this weekend as we look to finish the season strong with conference play.”
The Rebels will spend the next-to-last weekend of the regular season hosting Dubois Friday, with the varsity tipping off at 5:30 p.m., and playing in Meeteetse Saturday.  Varsity start time is 2 p.m.

Greybull    17 11 15 14 — 57
Riverside    10   6 19 10 — 45
RIVERSIDE — Josh Wildman 4-8 0-0 11, Hyson Hill 3-6 1-3 9, Hayden Paxton 3-13 2-2 9, Avery Clifford 3-5 0-0 6, Wyatt Daly-Patterson 2-3 0-0 4, Ryder Kozisek 2-5 0-0 6.  Totals 17-of-40 3-of-5 45.
3-POINT GOALS — Wildman 3, Hill 2, Kozisek 2, Paxton.  REBOUNDS — Riverside 38 (Paxton, Kozisek 7).  STEALS — Riverside 5 (Daly-Patterson 2). ASSISTS — Riverside 8 (Paxton 3).  TURNOVERS – Riverside 20.
Shoshoni    18 13 15 25 — 71
Riverside      5 19 10 30 — 64
RIVERSIDE — Wildman 3-6 0-0 6, Hill 4-8 2-2 11, Paxton 6-18 5-7 19, Clifford 1-4 1-2 3, Daly-Patterson 3-4 2-2 8, Kozisek 6-20 0-0 17.  Totals 23-60 10-13 64.
3-POINT GOALS — Kozisek 5, Paxton 2, Hill.  REBOUNDS — Riverside 32 (Paxton 17).  STEALS — Riverside 14 (Paxton, Kozisek 4).  ASSISTS — Riverside 5 (Wildman 3).  TURNOVERS — Riverside 15.
Big Horn     17 9 24 15 — 65
Riverside      7 9   9 19 — 44
RIVERSIDE — Wildman 5-14 0-0 12, Hill  1-5 2-5 5, Paxton 3-11 2-2 9, Gavyn Cervantes 0-1 0-0 0, Clifford 3-5 0-0 6, Daly-Patterson 0-5 0-0 0, Kozisek 4-13 2-4 12.  Totals 16-54 6-11 44.
3-POINT GOALS — Wildman 2, Kosizek 2, Hill, Paxton.  REBOUNDS — Riverside 17 (Paxton, Daly-Patterson 4).  STEALS  — Riverside 12 (Wildman 4).  ASSISTS  — Riverside 4 (Paxton 2).  TURNOVERS — Riverside 16.