Riverside charges to 5th straight state tourney

Photos by Dee Hudson

Do or die. No tomorrow. Win or go home. State tournament or bust.
With the new – and improved – seeded district finals format this season, teams had no wild card fallback for state tournament qualification Monday night. To earn a berth in the 2019 event, you had to win.
That proved no problem for the undefeated Riverside Chargers, who booked a fifth straight March trip to Lincoln with a 65-38 rout of Wallace in the D2-3 District final at Minden High School.
Although Wallace (12-11) hung with the Chargers for a quarter or so, trailing 15-11 at the end of the first period, it was only a matter of time before Riverside’s talent and experience overwhelmed the Wildcats.
Riverside (22-0) limited the D2-9 Sub-District champs to just four points in the second quarter, taking a 26-15 halftime lead, then sprinted away with an 18-5 run following intermission.
“We started a little slow,” Charger Coach Joe Imus acknowledged. “This was the first time in six years that we didn’t have a safety blanket of a wildcard to qualify for state and we played with more nerves than we’re used to.
“I liked how we settled in the second half and took command of the game. We did a nice job of finding Bloom down low, and I was impressed with how well Keaton Carraher stepped up and took advantage of the focus they then had on Bloom.”

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