Everyone likes a good encore.
But for Panthers and Wolverines players and fans, this Rivalry 2.0 game was too much like the original.
Once again, the Panthers overcame a slow start, a first quarter deficit, and early Wolverine momentum to mount another sound defeat of Ellwood City 60-48 Friday night a Section 1-3A showdown.
Much like their first matchup earlier this month, Ellwood City jumped out to an early 12-4 lead and sank five early 3-pointers to keep pace with the Panthers who slowly recovered and crept to a 29-25 halftime lead.
Riverside (11-6 overall, 5-2 section) used its balance scoring attack – four players finished with 10+ points – to once again pull away from the fading Wolverines, outscoring Ellwood City 15-6 in the final frame to secure the section victory – and a playoff birth.
Jesse Fornatero led the Panthers with 18 points. Justin Baust and Dylan Speicher both finished with 12, while Austin Dambach had 10 points for Riverside.
For the Wolverines (8-8 overall, 3-4 section), junior Anthony Roth finished with a game-high 18 points, including four 3 pointers, while senior Jordan Recce finished with 12 points in defeat.
With a playoff birth secured, the Panthers next travel to New Brighton to continue section play while the Wolverines settle for a home date again Mohawk. Both section games on Tuesday tip at 7:30pm.
photos courtesy of Next Level Photography – www.nextlevelphotographers.com