Tenth-ranked Riverside Military’s region opener Friday against Prince Avenue Christian was atypical for how it’s played to date this season.
Despite a strong first quarter with seven points from senior Isaac Teasley (17 points), the shots didn’t fall the rest of the night for the Eagles (9-4, 0-1 Region 8-A) in a 52-43 loss to the Wolverines in Gainesville.
Before the Christmas break, Riverside Military had a penchant for being fluid on both ends of the court as it strung together an eight-game winning streak and cracked the top 10 among Class A private schools.
However, the first game for the Eagles after a two-week layoff was indicative of a team coming off a break, with uncharacteristic turnovers and costly fouls.
Riverside Military coach Marvin Latham chalked much of it up to not having a practice until Friday morning with his roster — just hours before the region opener.
“We got to get back in the game and get our chemistry back.” Eagles coach Marvin Latham said. “Shots were there, but they weren’t falling tonight.
“That’s what happens when you don’t practice.”
Riverside Military missed all four 3-point tries in the second quarter, and also accrued costly back-to-back turnovers that gave Prince Avenue the momentum back and a 23-20 lead going into halftime.
In the fourth quarter, the Wolverines started to find some separation as they built a 14-point lead. Prince Avenue took advantage of the late fouls, making 9 of 16 shots at the free throw line.
In the third period, the Eagles were limited to three points.
Despite the big hole late, Riverside Military began to chip away in the waning minutes as Teasley and Shad Dabney combined for 16 points in the final five minutes.
Despite the lackluster performance, Latham is confident his Eagles can put it together during the final four weeks of the regular season, which continues today with a game against Tallulah Falls at 2:30 p.m.
“We got to find it again,” Latham said. “We got to get back to work and I’m very confident in our guys that we’re going to bounce back and be the team we were before Christmas break.”