By Lee Wright
Special to the Daily
There is one word that best describes the Riverdale Raiders these days - resilient.
Coming off a tough defeat on Tuesday against 10th-ranked Jonesboro, Riverdale could have folded the tent on Friday night against visiting Mundy's Mill. Instead, head coach Derick Powell's Raiders played with higher hunger and held on for a 68-60 victory over Mundy's Mill in Region 4-AAAA action.
With no starter taller than 6-foot-1, Riverdale improves to 14-9 overall and 9-7 in Region 4-AAAA. Head coach Tu Willingham's Mundy's Mill Tigers are now an even 11-11 overall and 5-10 in Region 4-AAAA.
"These kids fight hard - from the opening tip to the final horn," said Powell. "They play hard. That's what has been keeping us in games and giving us a chance each night. We are playing well together right now - sharing the ball and taking good shots.
"If we keep this up, we can be tough come tournament time."
Riverdale got a big momentum boost at the end of the second quarter when Joshua Milam drained a 3-point basket from the right corner to give the Raiders a 25-23 lead at halftime. The Raiders carried that momentum into the third quarter as Riverdale started with an 18-3 run, holding Mundy's Mill to one field goal.
Sateri Powell scored seven points early in the rally, including a 3-point basket. Diante Agard and Justin Bridges followed with lay-ups to give the Raiders a 43-26 lead at the 2:42 mark. A 3-point play by Bridges with 25 seconds remaining gave Riverdale a 48-29 lead.
The Raiders led 50-31 early in the fourth quarter before Mundy's Mill made its move. 10 straight points by Khari Hobbs cut the Raider lead to 11 points, 52-41 with 4:42 remaining. After Riverdale extended the lead to 13 points on a Agard 3-point basket, the Tigers cut the deficit to eight points on a 3-point basket by Darius Sizemore with 1:28 remaining.
A jumper by Sizemore at the 1:10 mark cut the Riverdale lead to six points, but that was as close as Mundy's Mill would get.
"You never want to relax because basketball is a game of runs," Powell said. "We just had to weather those storms, and we did."
Thomas Jackson paced Riverdale with 19 points, while Powell scored 12 points for the Raiders. Hobbs scored a game-high 22 points for Mundy's Mill.
Mundy's Mill 57, Riverdale 32 (Girls): In the girl's game, Mundy's Mill had three players reach double-figures as the Lady Tigers rolled to an impressive 25-point rout over reeling Riverdale. Head coach Julius Omotayo's Mundy's Mill squad improves to 14-5 overall and 11-4 in Region 4-AAAA with the victory.
Briana McQueen paced Mundy's Mill with 15 points, followed by Carniece Pugh with 11 points and Kristine Bridges scored 10 points.
For Riverdale (8-14, 5-11 4-AAAA), Erica Burnham scored nine points.