(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- "The Rumble by the River," also known as the Riverbend Classic began play on Friday afternoon, with several local schools representing the area, taking on four out-of-state teams, each with proven records of success.
In the first game of the day, New Madrid County Central opened up the tournament playing host to Memphis Central, falling to the visiting Warriors by a score of 63-41.
The Eagles had a tough match in the oversized Warriors, as the Memphis Central team's shortest player was 5-10, and the tallest was 6-8.
"You could tell how nervous we were," NMCC head coach Travis Day said. "They had 6-4 and 6-5 two-guards. They're hard to guard."
NMCC, just coming off of a fantastic football season, looked a little rusty at the start, trailing the visiting Memphis Central squad by 15 at half, 36-21.
The height of the Warriors however, was too much of a match for the Eagles, as they outscored their opponents 27-20 in the second half, for an overall victory of 63-41.
"These out-of-state teams are all bigger than the in-state teams (we face)," Day said. "Our effort could always be better, and we didn't shoot the ball well tonight. We also had a few we shouldn't have missed."
The Eagles were led by Josh Minner on the floor, who put up 11 points, with five field goals and one free-throw added from the line. Dontre Jenkins added eight points in the loss.
NMCC had 18 field goals and as a team went 4-for-10 from the line.
"We'll come back tomorrow and improve," Day said. "Our goal is to be good by districts."
The Warriors had a productive showing from Tyler Stone (6-7), who scored 19 points in the win, and Tim Peete (6-6), who added 13.
In game two of the tournament, the Bell City Cubs downed the Pine Bluff Zebras 62-55, mostly from the red-hot shooting hand of Nick Niemczyk, who scored 28 points in the win, with three three-pointers.
Phillip Gross added eight points and Marty Dames added seven.
The Cubs led the Zebras at the half by a score of 21-15, and never looked back, as the closest the Pine Bluff squad would get was within two points of the lead.
The Zebras were led by Terris Smith, who unloaded for 17 points, and Love Boyd, who added 11 in the losing effort.