– RIVERVIEW REGISTER
A fourth-quarter offensive explosion led the Riverview girls basketball team to its first victory of the new decade on Jan. 6.
The Pirates scored 32 final-quarter points to blow open a close game and beat Huron League rival Huron 80-55.
The victory was keyed by Junior guard Kylie Skidmore, who in her first start of the season, scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Bucks to the victory.
“Kylie had been playing a lot, but she hadn’t been starting,” said Riverview coach Rob Sauter. “She really came through.”
Skidmore was not alone in having a big offensive game, as three-point artist Rayah Kolbusz came off the bench to score 17 points. Kolbusz had four three-point shots and each of her bombs drew roars from the home Riverview crowd.
Senior guard Shannon McAlindon, who controls the game tempo for Riverview, chipped in with 11 points for the Buc.
For most of three quarters, this game looked nothing like a blowout. In fact, Huron led 17-15 at the end of the first. And Riverview led only 35-34 at halftime.
Riverview’s lead was just six heading into the final quarter, but the Bucs started the final frame with two free throws, a steal and a three-point bucket and the route was on.
Riverview’s lead went from six points to 17 points in a matter of three minutes and the home team pulled away from there.
Sauter said it was his team’s defense that was the difference in the second half and surely in the fourth quarter.
“Our defensive intensity was much better in the second half,” he said. “We simplified our defense a little bit and did a better job of anticipating passes and getting in the lanes.
“Everything for us starts with defense.”
Sauder added that he was happy to get into a close game for most of the way. Riverview’s previous five games this year had not been closed. Three of those games resulted in wins and two of them in losses.
“It was good to get in a game like this,” Sauter said. “I’m very happy with the way we responded. I really like The Moxy of this team.”
Huron, which played well most of the night, got 15 points from Faith Callahan, nine from Sam Belair and eight from Courtney Balacz.
Skidmore scored the first seven points of the game as Riverview bolted out to a 7-0 lead, but Huron doggedly battled back in the first quarter and made a game of it until the final period.
Skidmore then scored 10 more points in the fourth quarter to help put the nail in the coffin for Riverview.
With the win, the Bucs improved to 4-2 overall. They have beaten non-league foes Dearborn Fordson Southgate Anderson and Allen Park and fallen to non-league Temperance Bedford and league rival Flat Rock.
- January 16 Home Airport
- January 21 Home Crestwood
- January 23 Home Milan
- January 27 at Jefferson
- January 30 at Flat Rock
- February 3 at the Huron
- February 6 Home SMCC
- February 10 Home Grosse Ile
- February 13 at airport
- February 17 at Milan
- February 20 Home Jefferson
- February 27 Home Woodhaven