The Raiders trailed by as much as 24 points in the first half after a slow start.
Still down 15 at halftime, the Raiders chipped away and successfully tied the game at 75, but several late turnovers stopped the rally as Moberly Area won 88-78 on Saturday in Moberly.
"Everything we told our guys happened," Three Rivers coach Brian Bess said, highlighting the Greyhounds' strengths of 3-point shooting and rebounding. "We've been going over Moberly for a week, and they didn't surprise us."
Moberly Area was 9 for 16 on 3-pointers in the first half and 4 for 11 in the second half to finish 48.1% overall while shooting 45% on all field goals.
"Even some of the ones they missed they were wide open," Bess said.
The Raiders (5-3, 0-2 Region XVI) grabbed six more rebounds, including a 21-9 advantage on offensive rebounds, and were plus-1 on second-chance points.
"We did compete on (rebounds). In the second half especially, I thought we really got after the boards," Bess said. "I was glad that we rebounded. I thought that was a positive to take away from this ... Even at the end, I thought we battled."
Kinyon Hodges led the Raiders with 18 points, four assists and three steals. He was 7 for 11 shooting and 3 for 5 on 3-pointers.
Kevin Jones had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, including four offensive rebounds for the 6-foot guard out of Sikeston.
Amadou Fall was a free throw shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds. Lamar Wilkerson, who entered the night as the leading scorer in the country, finished with 10 points on 3 of 13 shooting.
With under 13 minutes left in the game, Jonathan Ninkingirs made a 3, and Fall later added a free throw to cut the lead to nine points.
The Greyhounds (8-3, 2-0) were still ahead by 10 with 6 minutes to go, and then the Raiders went on a 12-2 run to tie the game.
"Our goal was to do 4-minute segments because you're down by 15," Bess said. "We came out, and we battled. For 10 minutes, as hard as we could battle. And we got in under 10, which meant we had a shot."
The Raiders forced a 5-second call, and Jones followed the turnover with a free throw to start the run. Then he drove through the lane and finished for a three-point play.
Hodges drove right for an off-balance layup and added a corner 3 to make it a one-point game with more than 4 minutes remaining.
"To get it back tied with 75-all, that was a heck of an effort to get it back to that. And then they got a couple of breaks in the last 4 minutes, and that's what good teams get," Bess said.
Seconds after Hodges' 3, Fall drew his fifth foul. With their starting post player out, the Raiders went with a small-ball lineup the rest of the game, sometimes playing the 6-3, 230-pound Dominique Hardimon at the 5 position.
After the Greyhounds made a pair of free throws off Fall's fifth foul, Hodges made another 3 to tie the game with 3:55 on the clock. The Raiders, however, would only make one more field goal.
Three Rivers was down four points with 90 seconds left when the Greyhounds burned the shot clock, got the ball inside to Cortez Mosley, who kicked out to Sincere Parker for a 3. Parker led Moberly Area with 23 points on 8 for 12 shooting and 4 for 5 on 3-pointers. The entire Moberly Area starting lineup finished in double figures, with Mosley getting 16, Tyren Moore scoring 14, Dezi Jones got 12, and Makalani Kafele finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Now down 7 with 1:16 on the clock, the Raiders tried to speed things up but turned it over on their next two possessions.
Keith Kiner did not play after spraining his ankle Monday. Kiner is averaging 12.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. Bess said Kiner is expected to see the doctor again on Monday.
"That was hard on us, but I thought that we had some guys play well in his place," Bess said.
The Raiders will host State Fair at 5 p.m. Monday, travel to Mineral Area on Wednesday, and host Nation Wide Academy on Saturday for four games in eight days.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic