MOBERLY, Mo. – In his regular interview at halftime of the Raider game, Lady Raiders coach Jeff Walk said the first three minutes of the second half would decide the men's game. In it took a little longer than predicted, but in the first five minutes the Raiders went from 11 points down to 18 points down and ultimately lost 100-70 on Friday. In those five minutes, the Raiders had two offensive rebounds and four total rebounds compared to Moberly Area's five offensive rebounds and eight total rebounds. It didn't help that all three of the Raiders' primary big men, Ludy Kayourloud, Keiondre Jefferson and Corey Bown, fi nished with four fouls. The Greyhounds (16- 3, 1-0 Region XVI) ultimately grabbed seven more offensive rebounds and 11 more total rebounds for 22 second-chance points compared to the Raiders' 11. The Raiders (6-9, 0-2) fell behind by 10 points in the first six minutes of the game but were able to fight their way back. Over the next six minutes, Chris Stocks had four points, Aidan Saunders had five and the Jeffery Porter made a jumper to cut the lead to a single point. Porter soon scored a three-point play to give the Raiders the lead one last time.
"Just a bunch of mediocrity from that point on," Bess said in a radio interview. "It's really hard to put your finger on other than we can not rebound. Our best rebounder is our shortest guy in Porter. We just have so many guys who never had to rebound, I'm sure, in high school." From the 6:25 mark of the first half of the 15:41 mark of the second, a span of 10:44, Three Rivers was outscored 25-6. With seven minutes remaining, both Gene Bess and Brian Bess picked up technicals during the same break in the action. Moberly Area's Billy Thomas made all four free throws, putting it ahead 84-53. Porter, at 6-foot, went into the weekend averaging 6.3 rebounds, second on the team behind 6-9, 205-pound forward Ludy Kayouloud. Keiondre Jefferson, a 6-7 freshman guard, is the only other Raider grabbing more than five rebounds per game. Porter had five rebounds against the Greyhounds and tied for the team lead in offensive rebounds with Kayouloud and Jefferson with three each. Three Rivers is averaging about 11 offensive rebounds per game this season and 29 total rebounds while allowing 14 offensive rebounds and 40 total rebounds. In the three previous seasons, when the Raiders lost eight games each time, they were on the other side of the coin. Last season, the Raiders averaged four more offensive rebounds and nearly six more total rebounds than their opponents. "Our big men are not stepping their game up. I thought we would be doing better than that by now," Bess said. Chucky Wilson led Three Rivers with seven rebounds while Moberly Area's team leader, Tyree White, had 15. Aidan Saunders led Three Rivers in scoring with 17 points off the bench on 5 for 16 shooting. Jefferson had 16 points and Porter got 12. Three Rivers outshot Moberly Area 40 percent to 37.2 percent, but were beaten in 3-point shooting, second-chance points and points off turnovers. And that was with the Greyhounds playing without their leading scorer Alonzo Verge (20.6 points, 4.1 rebounds) or their leading rebound Jermaine Matthews (9.3 points, 8.1 rebounds). White led the Greyhounds with 17 points on 6 for 11 shooting. He had eight offensive rebounds. Dallas Morgan came off the bench and made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Thomas, Tyrone Alston and D'Travion Edwards each chipped in 11 points.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic