QUINCY, Ill. — Size was on the Raiders' side at the John Wood Classic and they controlled the boards to improve to 6-0. Three Rivers was plus-10 on rebounds against both Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and Johnson County Community College over the weekend. It beat Cincinnati State 95-87 on Friday and then beat Johnson County 84-71 Saturday. "The two teams we played were not very big, so that had something to do with it," Three Rivers coach Gene Bess said. "Our big guys have been rebounding real well." Three Rivers held Johnson County (3-3) to four offensive rebounds and 18 total, and was plus-nine on second-chance points. Without a player taller than 6-foot, 6-inches, the Cavaliers focused on defending the post against Three Rivers' 6-10 Kavion Pippen and 6-9 Terrence Parker.
Johnson County double teamed, played zone, helped out, and it worked to a point. Both were in line with their season averages. Pippen had eight points and nine rebounds and Parker got six points and four rebounds. The Raiders took advantage on the outside and hit 12 of 23 (52.2 percent) of their 3-pointers. Three Rivers' Camron Reedus led all scorers with 28 points after going 6 for 10 on 3-pointers. He had 12 points and three 3-pointers in the first 8 minutes. His 3 before the buzzer also put Three Rivers ahead 20 points at halftime. "He had his best shooting game of the year I guess," Bess said. Gabe Grant added 21 points and four rebounds. The Raiders shot 54 percent overall, a season high, and 52 percent on 3-pointers. Three Rivers, which also started 6-0 two seasons ago, jumped out to a 19-6 lead on Johnson County, which got as close as 12 points midway through the second half. "We just came to play. We had better focus from the very beginning today than we did yesterday," Bess said. Reedus was a free throw shy of matching his scoring record as a Raider. He put up 29 points in an 116-114 loss against Harcum last season. He was also a 3-pointer shy of matching the seven he sank against both St. Louis and Monroe College last season. He finished with 24 and 26 points in those games, respectively. Reedus' 21 points per game leads Three Rivers this season and is a three point improvement from his freshman season. Through six games he is shooting 50 percent overall, 47 percent on 3s and 77 percent at the free-throw line. He is also leading the team in steals (2.5 per game) and is second in assists (2.7).
Three Rivers grabbed 20 total offensive rebounds against Cincinnati State (3- 1) on Friday, and was plus- 17 on second-chance points. Pippen was the biggest benefactor of the extra boards. He put up 25 points, eclipsing his previous best as a Raider by 10 points, on 11 for 15 shooting. Six of his eight rebounds were offensive boards and he added two blocks and two steals, as well. "He was able to catch a ball and he had his best game of the year, I'd say," Bess said. Grant, who finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, hit a 3 with just under 7 minutes to play to tie the game. Aidan Saunders and Sadaeys Miller followed with buckets for Three Rivers, which didn't trail after that 7-1 run. Pippen's layup with 90 seconds to play pushed the lead to eight and Grant added a free throw on the Raiders' next possession. "We had to battle for that one. We got behind and just nip and tuck," Bess said. "We felt pretty good about that one." Cincinnati State turnedto 3-pointers and Pippen tacked on four more points in closing possessions. Parker added 10 rebounds and seven points. Camron Reedus was 3 for 5 on 3-pointers and got 14 points and Saunders finished with 10 points.