AVON — Riverside High School junior Shakera Stewart is learning a lot about herself as she helps guide her young basketball team this season.
“I am learning a lot about what it takes to be a leader,” Stewart said after helping her team win its first game of the season Tuesday night, 49-29, against the South Delta Bulldogs.
“I know that my teammates are looking up to me, and I know that they are following me. So, I always have to set a good example.”
Stewart led the Bulldogs with 11 points in her team’s victory Tuesday.
Karson Sides, a sophomore on the Riverside Lady Bulldogs added 10 points in the win. After the game, Sides said Stewart’s leadership this season has been instrumental in building the young team.
“She is a great player and a wonderful teammate, and we all look up to her,” Sides said.
Riverside High School coach Johnny Bley’s basketball team is filled with a number of underclassmen this season, including eighth graders Morgan Cudd and Skylar Peoples.
Coach Bley said his team’s best quality is that it never gives up.
“This team has really started to come together these last two games,” Coach Bley said. “A game like tonight is really important for us to build on. I have seen a lot of growth in this team, and we need to continue to build on it.”
South Delta boys 90, Riverside 51
South Delta’s Rodshawn Gentry scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead his team to a victory. The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to a 29-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and stayed in front the entire game.
Riverside’s D’Vonta Gaston made two three-point shots in the second quarter to help cut the South Delta (11-6) lead to 10 points midway through the second period, but it wasn’t enough to combat the talent of the visiting team from Rolling Fork.
Gatson led Riverside (3-11) with 22 points, while Riverside’s Myles Edwards contributed 10 points.
“My team gave it everything they had, but South Delta was just too strong tonight,” Riverside head coach Eddie Wade said.