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Posted On: 01/19/18 4:03 PM
I’m a bit late, but this was a matchup that couldn’t be ignored.
It was a classic battle between two of the state’s premier prospects and teams and a still-undefeated Riverside squad picked up another signature win over Scotlandville for the second time this season. The Rebels were in control for most of the game and prevented Scotlandville from making the one run they needed to really close the gap and put pressure on Riverside.
The Rebels took the matchup 78-69 in the semifinals of the Country Day Classic on December 22 and also beat Scotlandville 75-73 on a game-winner by Jeremiah Bigham at the Hornets’ gym on November 11. Alabama signee Jared Butler and LSU signee Javonte Smart both put on a show scoring 33 points.
2018 6’3” PG Jared Butler (Alabama Signee)
Butler is really making a case for himself as the top prospect in the state. Javonte Smart has held that title for some time now, which has overshadowed just how productive Jared Butler has been.
Butler is “a scoring machine” in the words of Riverside coach Timmy Byrd, and Karr coach Taurus Howard touted Butler’s passing prowess as one of the aspects of his game that makes him nearly impossible to guard. He put up 33 points knocking down three 3-pointers while going 6-of-7 at the free throw line with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Butler has since gone on two lead the Rebels to the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic title with a win over Karr, and he was named MVP of the tournament for the second time in his career (also won as a sophomore).
2018 5’10” G Garland Robertson
Robertson is elite on the defensive end of the floor and his toughness and attitude paid big dividends in this win over Scotlandville. He has excellent lateral movement, anticipation and most of all — want to. Robertson knows his job is to shut down opposing guards and he relishes and thrives in his role.
2018 6’2” G Jalen Banks
Banks’ improvement as a shooter over the past couple of seasons has really opened up the floor for Riverside. He scored 10 points including two 3-pointers against the Hornets in this matchup and also grabbed four rebounds. Like Robertson, Banks is a tough two-sport athlete who gives 100 percent anytime he steps on the field of play.
2018 6’3” G Jeremiah Bigham
Bigham, yet another two-sport athlete for Riverside, is a strong guard with good size who can affect the game in multiple ways. His most valuable asset in this matchup was his activity on the boards, which led to four offensive rebounds that gave his team second-chance opportunities. Bigham is a very good leaper who can finish above the rim and knock down shots from the 3-point line and he finished with four points, two blocks, two steals and an assist against Scotlandville.
2019 5’10” G Isaiah Bigham
Bigham is Riverside’s fastest player from end-to-end and he’s continually improving his ball handling to be even more of a threat on the offensive end. He’s already fully capable of filling it up from long range and had two 3-pointers in an 8-point performance in this matchup. The Rebels have the aforementioned seniors who usually handle the majority of responsibilities but Bigham will really have a chance to showcase his skill set when he takes the lead role next season as a senior with Kash Foley.
2019 5’11” G Kash Foley
Foley’s best attribute is his ability to knock down long range shots and he’s also a sneaky defensive player who comes up with a steal or two per game. He had nine points against Scotlandville including one 3-pointer while going 4-of-4 from the free throw line and nabbing one steal.
2018 6’4” PG Javonte Smart (LSU Signee)
Smart is playing with a young group and he has shouldered a ton of the load this season as a scorer, rebounder and defender while still needing to create shots for his teammates. He was locked in against Riverside scoring 33 points with three 3-pointers while going 10-of-12 from the stripe but perhaps even more impressive was his grittiness in the paint pulling down a game-high 17 rebounds.
Smart also had three steals and his drive and competitiveness is matched by very few. He’s super talented, obviously, but the focus and intensity he brings to every game really sets him apart and makes him one of the nation’s best prospects.
2020 6’1” G Reece Beekman
Beekman is one of the state’s most promising guards in the Class of 2020. He can score both in and outside the 3-point line and is the “Robin” to Smart’s “Batman” on the court. Beekman scored 11 points against Riverside — all inside the 3-point line or at the stripe — and eight of those came in the second half as the Hornets tried to make their comeback bid. The 2020 guard also had three assists and two steals.
2020 6’1” G Tai’Reon Joseph
Joseph is one of several sharpshooters the Hornets surround Smart with to open up the floor and give him driving lanes. He was able to do that against Riverside connecting on two 3-pointers and also grabbed four rebounds with two steals. Joseph has good length for the position as a sophomore and he’ll be a key piece to Scotlandville’s success over the next couple seasons.
2018 6’2” G Trevon Smith
Smith is a bouncy guard that actually spends most of his time in the paint for Scotlandville. While the rest of the group spreads the floor with their shooting, Smith gets his offense cutting off the ball to keep the defense moving. He was tied with Beekman as the Hornets’ second leading scorer with 11 points.
2020 5’10” G David Thomas III
Thomas III actually didn’t score in this game but he’ll be a name to know going forward with his ability to shoot from deep. The last time these two teams met, Thomas III dropped 5 3-pointers in a 17-point performance.