Riverside is certainly no stranger to the Nebraska State Basketball Tournament, and the Chargers will be back in Lincoln this week after defeating Giltner in the D2-3 District championship game Feb. 28 at G.I. Central Catholic.
With its 74-60 victory over the Hornets, Riverside – winners of the D2 state tournament third-place game each of the past two seasons – will again be seeking to add basketball championship hardware to its collection of three straight Six-Man state football title trophies.
The Chargers will bring one of the highest-scoring, most entertaining teams in the state to Lincoln after a 24-12 second-quarter blitz sparked the 14-point district final win.
Senior Noah Valasek and freshman Tredyn Prososki, Riverside’s season scoring leaders, were the impetus that drove the Chargers to a 40-23 halftime lead. With Giltner focused on limiting Riverside’s potent three-point shooting, the pair drove to the basket time and again, Valasek scoring 16 first-half points and Prososki 13.
The Chargers also did the job defensively, as its pressure and 1-3-1 zone forced 24 Giltner turnovers.
Riverside’s lead grew as large as 55-34 in the second half before Giltner clawed back to a 69-58 deficit with two minutes to play. The Hornets could get no closer, however, as Riverside finished the game with a 5-2 run.
Riverside (23-3) will open play in Lincoln Thursday with a 9 a.m. contest against #8 seed Garden County (17-6) at Lincoln Southeast High School. With a win, the Chargers would face a potential semifinal matchup with Goldenrod Conference rival Humphrey St. Francis (21-5), who Riverside split with in the regular season. Looming on the other side of the D2 bracket is #2 seed and #1 rated Parkview Christian (21-4).
“From top to bottom, I think the field is a lot stronger than it’s been the past couple of years,” Imus commented. “I think there’s a number of teams that could come out on top.”
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