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Jeff West Girls and Riverside Boys Earn Wins
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
01/09/2021
Audio

The High School basketball season resumed with the first games of 2021 on Friday night in Meriden. The Jeff West girls improved to 5-2 while the Riverside boys posted a tight road win in a battle of teams that were tied in the Big 7 League. 

GIRLS = Jeff West 53, Riverside 34

As expected following a 10-day mandatory break and just four days of practice, both teams started slow and Riverside led 1-0 nearly two minutes into the contest. Yet, Jeff West turned up the defensive pressure and found a transition offense while scoring 16 straight points to take control. The Lady Tigers led 27-15 at halftime and despite a couple possessions down just 11 points in the third quarter, the Cyclones could never make it a single-digit deficit. 

Kristin Biltoff had a career night with 29 points and nearly registering a triple-double with 9 steals and 8 assists plus 6 rebounds. She hit four triples and played with extreme heart and energy while earning "Player to Bank on" honors and joining us on KNZA at halftime of the boys game for an exclusive interview. Mellany Roenne added eight points as the Tigers improved to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big 7.  

Riverside fell to 0-7 with Lexie Jones and Jaismon Murphy each posting eight points and Taylor Weishaar leading the way with 10 of her 12 points in the third quarter. 

BOYS = Riverside 50, Jeff West 47

The boys game was tight throughout with boys teams coming in 2-2 in league play. Riverside held a 9-8 lead after one quarter but Jeff West took the biggest lead of the game 27-21 with a few second before halftime with a basket by Garrett Athon. Yet, Nehemiah Byrd would finish with 14 points before the break as he hit a halfcourt shot to pull within 27-24. Jeff West was still clinging to a 40-39 advantage heading into the fourth quarter and led 47-43 with 2:30 remaining. 

Riverside ended the game by scoring the final seven points, with the final five points all coming off the bench from sophomore Todrick Duncan. He gave the Cyclones the 49-47 lead with :50 left and then made one of two free throws with 11 seconds to play to earn Citizens State Bank and Trust Company "Player to Bank on" honors.

Jeff West was not able to get a good clean look in their final few possessions and ended the night with 12 costly turnovers while also not attempting one single free throw in the game. The Tigers fell to 3-3 overall as Josh Broxterman got 16 points and Athon added 14. 

Riverside was led by Byrd with 16 points while Bray Davies and Miles Edwards added eight each. The Cyclones are off to their best start since 2013 at 5-2 on the season with a one-point loss to Royal Valley and a five-point setback against Perry Lecompton.

Riverside will be home for two games next week against Nemaha Central and Holton while Jeff West now has two road games at Royal Valley and Nemaha Central.  

 


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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