Fifth-ranked Jonesboro pushed its win streak to 10 with a 55-49 win over rival Riverdale during senior night Tuesday.
The Cardinals opened the second half on a 17-2 run in the first 4:32 and nearly put away the Raiders behind pressure defense and 10 third-quarter points from guard Patrick Petty. Riverdale charged back with a 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter to pull within six before free throws from Petty sealed the win. He finished with 24 points.
“I knew it was going to be an emotional night,” Jonesboro head coach Dan Maehlman said of sending off nine seniors. “I didn’t cry because I know it’s not over.”
Riverdale opened the game on an 8-3 run in the first 2:45 before Jonesboro tied the game at 12 to end the quarter. Petty, one of nine seniors honored before the game, scored the Cardinals’ first seven points. Quincy January (16 points, six rebounds) hit a 3-point play to pull Riverdale within 22-19 with 1:58 to play before halftime.
Jonesboro senior center Duby Okeke, a 6-8 Winthrop signee, received two first-half fouls and did not score a basket before the break. He finished with six points, six rebounds, three blocks and a thunderous two-hand dunk with 35 seconds to play.
Jarrell Jennings, a transfer forward from Virginia, scored 13 second-half points off the bench for Riverdale, who finished 14-11 overall and 10-5 in Region 4B-AAAA.
“They fight. That’s what they’ve been doing all year,” Riverdale head coach Tony Brinson said. “We wanted to attack their big man, but if you don’t have a solid guard in this league it’s tough to succeed.”
Jonesboro, 20-4 overall and 14-1 in Region 4-AAAA, has not lost since an overtime loss to region rival Eagles Landing a month ago. Jonesboro won at Riverdale 54-48 on Jan. 17 to push that streak to five. Riverdale finished second to Jonesboro in subregion B and and will play next week at Woodland-Stockbridge in the region tournament. Both teams need one win to reach the Class AAAA tournament.
Jonesboro (54) – Petty 24, Peace 9, Sutton 8, Okeke 6, Wells 3, Mack 3, Walker 2
Riverdale (48) – January 16, Jennings 13, Milan 8, Gilliard 5, Williams 4, Canty 2, Sanders 1
Halftime: Jonesboro 22, Riverdale 20
Jonesboro girls 51, Riverdale 39: Riverdale pulled within seven with just under five minutes to play, but the Lady Cardinals (21-3) shut out the Lady Raiders (13-12) in the final three minutes.