In 24 years on the Raider sidelines, Brian Bess has not lost a game as the head coach. Longtime coach Gene Bess had a knee procedure on Thursday, and consequently missed just the fourth game in his 47 years coaching at Three Rivers. Brian Bess previously took the reigns in January 2014, after his dad passed out from low blood pressure while teaching class. And then again Tuesday when Gene Bess did not make the road trip to North Arkansas because of his knee pain.
This time, Terrence Parker had what Brian Bess called his best game as a Raider and Three Rivers beat State Fair 83-72 on Saturday at the Bess Activity Center. Parker finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds on 10 for 13 shooting. He also had eight offensive rebounds as the Raiders, who have struggled on the boards this season, out-rebounded the Roadrunners 44 to 28. "Terrence played well," Brian Bess said. "We have put a lot of time into Terrence and Kavion (Pippen) and I just see them getting better and better.
"The bigs have worked and worked and worked, and I'm making them work more." Camron Reedus added 18 points after going 4 for 9 on 3-pointers. Searching for some energy out of halftime, the Raiders went to their halfcourt trap, which they call "Jackhammer". The added pressure and turnovers helped Three Rivers, which led from start to fi nish, build its largest lead of the game, 17 points.
"We had been doing it with the halfcourt trap, the jackhammer, and then they fi nally got a 3 or two on us. That is something you are going to give up if you gamble on the trap," Brian Bess said. Three Rivers (18-7, 3-3 Region XVI) fi nished plus-6 on points off turnovers, as well as plus-6 on second-chance points as it swept State Fair after getting swept by the Roadrunners (11-13, 0-5 Region XVI) last season. The win gets Three Rivers back to .500 in Region play with two games left at MSU-West Plans and at Mineral Area.