Slowly but surely, Riverside boys basketball coach Eddie Wade is turning the program around.
Wade’s Bulldogs took another big step Tuesday when they defeated Pelahtachie 61-60 in the semifinals of the Region 4-2A basketball tournament at Pisgah.
Riverside (7-15) used a balanced scoring attack in its victory, which was their third in four games.
Bulldog Da’Vonta Gatson led Riverside with 19 points. Jonathan Richardson scored 17 points. Myles Edwards scored 11 points, and Johnny Williams scored 10.
The victory for the Bulldogs advances them into Friday’s district championship game against South Delta. But, even importantly, Tuesday’s win means that Riverside has earned a spot in the MHSAA Class 2A state tournament which begins next week.
“It is a big step for us to make it to the state tournament,” Wade. “This is something we have not accomplished in a while.”
The Bulldogs led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but Riverside saw Pelahatchie slowly cut into their lead in the game’s final stanza.
The good news, said Wade, was that his players made the plays in the final moments when they needed to make them.
“This team is learning not to accept losing,” Coach Wade said. “They are learning how to find a way to win.”
Much of the recent success for the Bulldogs is seniors Myles Edwards, Jonathan Richardson and Jay Humprhey. Wade said all three of these seniors have given the team a great deal of leadership this season.