MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. — Wabash Valley was near perfect from beyond the arc, and it took Three Rivers roughly 35 minutes to put a dent into their hot shooting. Three Rivers dropped its first game of the new year 94-83 and with it dropped below .500 for the season for the first time since its season opener. The Raiders shot 11 percent on 3-pointers in the first half while Wabash Valley shot 75 percent, and in doing so took a 22-point lead into halftime. Things improved in the second half. The Raiders (6-7) shot 55 percent on 3-pointers and 51 percent from everywhere, but the hole was just too deep. Chucky Wilson led Three Rivers with 24 points. He shot 50 percent overall and was 3 for 5 on 3-pointers. Aidan Saunders came off the bench for 20 points and Keiondre Jefferson had a season high 19 points. Three Rivers fell behind 20-7 in the opening eight minutes after Wabash Valley (8-5) sank four straight 3-pointers. The Warriors made two more to push their lead to as much as 20 points with more than five minutes left in the fi rst half. The Raiders were still down by 26 with five minutes left in the game, but then held Wabash Valley to one point the rest of the way.
Wilson started the late push with a 3, and soon added a dunk and another 3 to cut the lead to 15 points. Cameron Maddox got a steal and then Saunders sank a 3, which would be the last of the Raiders' field goals. Marcus Garrett led Wabash Valley with 24 points after going 4 for 4 on 3-pointers and 9 for 14 overall. Tyreese Williford and Jalen Newsom added 13 points each while Jordan Bell got 11 and Austin Trice had 10. The starters for Wabash Valley were a collective 12 for 15 from beyond the arc. Williford, Garrett and Cam Gross, who had eight points, made every 3 they took. Williford and Trice also finished with double-doubles after Williford had 12 assists and Trice had 11 rebounds. For Three Rivers, only Wilson shot better than 50 percent from beyond the arc. He, Jefferson and Corey Bowen, who was 1 for 2 shooting, each shot 50 percent or better for the Raiders. The Raiders originally went into the Christmas break with a 9-3 record, but had to forfeit three of their wins — against Lang Prep, Hocking and Southwestern Illinois — after discovering an ineligible player appeared in three games. The walk-on player dropped below the required number of class hours he had to take to stay eligible and played roughly seven combined minutes over the three forfeits. Consequently, Three Rivers has lost three of their last four games and do not have a winning streak for the season longer than three games. The loss was also Three Rivers' final game before starting Region XVI play on Saturday at Mineral Area.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic