Moberly downs shorthanded Raiders

Moberly downs shorthanded Raiders

The Three Rivers College men's basketball team knew it would have a tough task Saturday night against Region 16 rival Moberly with a fully healthy roster.

With the Raiders' two leading scorers and top three rebounders sidelined, a tough task became a monumental one.

Three Rivers never led against the Greyhounds Saturday and trailed by double figures much of the night in a 94-71 loss at the Libla Family Sports Complex.

"With Bryce (Wallace) having surgery on his finger and then (Anthony Sellars and Kyle Edison) being out, we were a little shorthanded," Bess said, "and we still competed. I thought we were right there at times. I thought if we could have kept it close to the 10-minute mark (of the second half), we could have done some damage. Instead, we let it grow right after halftime for some reason. But we battled and I thought we competed."

Sellars is questionable for Wednesday's game at State Fair sprained MCL, sprained ankle and a bone contusion on the other knee, while Wallace's season is over. Edison is not expected to play Wednesday.

Baskets by Robert Alexander and D.J. Prater pulled Three Rivers (13-15, 3-7 Region 16) within six points (27-21) with nine minutes and change left in the first half, but the Greyhounds (22-6, 9-2) led 42-31 at the intermission.

Moberly then scored the first seven points of the second half to go ahead 49-31 on Xavier Sykes' pull-up jumper with 17:57 left in the game, and the Raiders never came any closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

Sykes, whose father Antonio played for Three Rivers from 1995-97, scored 16 points and added five steals for the Greyhounds, while Tekao Carpenter had 20 points and Akili Evans added 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists — just missing a triple double. Freddie Cooper had 13 points and Cameron Williams finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for Moberly.

"He's a good player," Bess said of the younger Sykes. "He's been really good against us. Probably he and (Carpenter) have been better against us than they have against the rest of the (region). … And (Evans) has been really good against us."

Demetris "Meechie" White paced Three Rivers with a game-high 25 points, while Caleb Young had 15 points and seven rebounds and Gemani Charles came off the bench to add 12 points and eight boards.

"I thought Meechie had a good game," Bess said. "He had a very good game."

Bess also had words of praise for D.J. Prater, who stepped into the starting lineup and had a team-high three steals to go with six points.

"That's what D.J. is," Bess said. "He's really a good defender. We need him to help us rebounding and he was battling some big guys (Saturday). Here's the greatest compliment I can give to D.J. and a couple more of our guys is they're like 'Coach, whatever you need — if you need me to play power forward, whatever you need. If you need me to play center, whatever you need, coach. If you need me to guard the 6-10 guy, whatever you need.'

"That's D.J.'s attitude and that has been such a blessing to coach a guy that just wants to help the team any way he can. That's a great attitude — and not every one of our guys has that kind of attitude."

The Raiders head to State Fair Wednesday for a key Region 16 game. The winner earns the region tournament's third and final first-round bye, while the loser hosts Missouri State-West Plains next Tuesday in a region quarterfinal.

Three Rivers and the Roadrunners (10-17, 3-7) are currently tied for third in the five-team region standings.

"It's going to be quite a challenge, I think," Bess said of Wednesday. "It's a big game. I think State Fair is really good, so it's going to be quite a challenge."


Mike Buhler - Daily American Republic