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McCarver leads LHS rally by Riverdale
Feb 07, 2007 12:00 am
O'Keefe McCarver continues to amaze.
The Lebanon senior guard knifed through Riverdale's defense for 27 points, tossing in 12 of 15 free throws, as the Blue Devils battled out of an early 10-point deficit to a 63-53 upset of the No. 12 Warriors on Friday at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
"He's a battler and he keeps going and going," Lebanon coach Doug Keil said after his Blue Devils climbed to 14-11 for the season and pulled even at 6-6 in District 7-AAA. "Sometimes you wonder what he's doing. But he seems to have a plan. And he had a great plan tonight. He attacked and played outstanding.
"I'm so proud of all the guys. It was such a team win. O'Keefe, his role was to score tonight. But other guys were defensive stoppers and rebounders."
Riverdale raced to a 13-3 lead early as Lebanon's only points came from the free-throw line. Michael Young, who tied Scott Thomas' 16 points for Warrior scoring honors, supplied six in the early going.
"We've seen that in a few games already this year where somebody has jumped out on us," Keil said. "I'm proud of our guys because in this game, we fought back. They hit some tough shots early and we made a couple of mistakes as well to give them the big lead. But then we buckled down and I'm so proud of them."
McCarver's driving runner ignited Lebanon's comeback. Center Herschal McCathern, who muscled in 12 points, got three on a three-point play in the closing seconds to bring the Blue Devils within 14-11 at the first-quarter break.
After missing a couple of point-blank shots which would have tied the score, Lebanon finally caught Riverdale 25-25 on a McCarver free throw 1:15 before halftime. His driving layup with 19 seconds left put the Blue Devils ahead for the first time 28-27 before Young dropped in two from the line to send the Warriors, who survived a halfcourt heave from McCarver which hit the rim, into the break up by one.
Two free throws by McCarver in the opening minute of the second half put Lebanon in front by one and a three-pointer from Terrence Logue boosted the Blue Devils up 33-29. A tipin by Ken Walton opened a 41-36 lead before back-to-back triples by Thomas, who had three from long range for the game, rallied Riverdale back into a 42-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Two McCarver free throws and a 19-footer from the top of the key lifted Lebanon to a three-point lead early in the fourth. Riverdale rallied but missed a free throw which would have tied the score.
McCarver's only three of the night and a fastbreak layup by Logue off a downcourt pass by McCarver opened a 52-46 lead and Riverdale was in catch-up mode the rest of the night. McCarver connected for 10 fourth-period points to keep the Warriors at bay and hand top-ranked Oakland the top seed for the upcoming district tournament as Riverdale slipped to 9-3 in the league and 22-5 for the season.
Alex Johnson tossed in a pair of threes for Lebanon on his way to eight points while Logue scored seven and Walton and Xavier Smith two each.
The Blue Devils dropped in 16 of 25 free throws while Riverdale racked up 10 of 19.
Lebanon will be up and at 'em again tonight when the Blue Devils bus to West Wilson County for a meeting with rival Mt. Juliet at Tommy Martin Gym/The Cave. The Golden Bears, catching the bye in their District 9-AAA schedule [due to that league having only seven members], had Friday night off.
"Another outstanding basketball team, another fine test," Keil said. "The communities will be really excited about this game. We told our guys in the locker room that this win against Riverdale means so much to us as a team. That Mt. Juliet-Lebanon game means a lot to the community."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.