CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Riverside got a pretty tough draw for its season opener in the FCA Hoops Classic and made the most of it Friday, holding off Magnolia 76-70.Tyus Wood led the Warriors with 32 points and Tamar Lawson added 22 and Josh Carpenter 10.The Blue Eagles led 67-66 when Zach Willhoite hit a shot with 2:44 left, but Wood turned a steal into a layup and the Warriors had the lead for good at the 2:17 mark.Wood also provided a thunderous blocked shot under the basket as Magnolia was trying to tie the game at 71 with 47 seconds remaining.
Class A Magnolia went 21-4 last year and returned three of its top six scorers."I have all the respect in the world for Magnolia,'' said first-year Riverside coach Ryan Carter. "Before the game, I'm thinking, 'Why did we get this draw?' I knew I only had one senior [Wood], and he's a good leader, but I'm worried about what kind of senior leadership we'd have. What happened if it's a close game?"But for the first time out, they responded well. We have a 24-hour rule: We have 24 hours to celebrate if we win, and 24 hours to sulk if it's a loss. Then it's back to work.''Wood, who has played for three head coaches in his four years at Riverside, said it's all for the best."We've got to take it positive,'' he said. "They just want to get the best out of you. We've got to support them and believe in them.''Wood thinks the Warriors, who haven't had a winning season in 10 years, are ready to turn the corner."We're working really hard — all of us and not just one of us,'' he said. "We want to win the state championship. We're working harder than any year I've been here. They push us really good. We're working as hard as possible.''For Magnolia, Spencer Campbell scored 26 points, Willhoite 24 and Preston Boswell 17.n VALLEY 72, SHERMAN 57: Sophomore Henry Barron-Houchins knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 20 points as Valley knocked off Sherman.The Greyhounds ran out to a 10-2 first-quarter lead and a tenacious Valley press never allowed Sherman to pose a real threat."We're going to get up and down the floor," Valley coach Joseph McCoy said. "We made a lot of mistakes with being down here in the Civic Center for the first time. A lot of our boys were a little tight, a little nervous. We missed a lot of easy shots early, but we're young, too. We start three sophomores and it's good experience just to get them down here."
Fellow sophomore Zac Warden scored 17 points for Valley (2-0) and seniors Raeshawn Breckenridge and Keyshawn Payne scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.Corey Smith had 20 points to lead Sherman (2-1), including six 3-pointers, and Cody Muncy chipped in with 17.The Greyhounds have a lot of talent with senior Payne running the point and Breckenridge providing an inside-outside threat on the wing.While the postseason is far away, McCoy said he likes the makeup of his team."Raeshawn and Keyshawn both are seniors and they carry us pretty well," McCoy said. "They'll help the young boys come along. I'd like to say I've got a couple on the bench that I think [will] help us when I can get them enough experience. But it's a long way to March."Like I told the boys, 'We're down here, get the feel of it,' and hopefully March 15th or whatever I'm in there in the [Civic Center locker] room talking to them again."
n WOOD COUNTY 71, ELK VALLEY 55: Wood County Christian held a 30-12 advantage in the fourth quarter as it rallied to win. Doug Ernest led Wood County with 18 points, followed by Logan Huck with 17 and Josh Stevens with 14.Trey Suttle led all scorers with 24 points for Elk Valley Christian and Luke Williams chipped in with 14. Elk Valley led 37-26 at halftime.Girlsn SPRING VALLEY 70, PARKERSBURG 57: Madison Morris poured in 26 points as the Timberwolves rolled to a win. Kassidy Lemons added 14 points for Spring Valley.Kameron Snyder led Parkersburg with 14 points and Hailey Ackerman tossed in 12.n WOOD COUNTY 52, ELK VALLEY 48: Heather Lord scored a game-best 24 points as Wood County Christian held off a late rally for a win. Hannah Lord added 17 points.Chelsea Burdette and Hannah Williams scored 17 points apiece for Elk Valley Christian, which trailed by 13 entering the fourth quarter.