ESSEX - The Risco Tigers basketball team won their sixth straight game on Friday night, with a 56-48 road victory at the Richland Rebels.
The Tigers rode the play of Andrew Halford and Robert Fowler in the second half. Halford scored 12 points in the second half and had seven points in the fourth. Fowler had 10 points in the second half for Risco.
"Our energy level was greater in the second half," said Risco head coach Brandon Blankenship. "It was their homecoming and they were ready to play. We worked the ball around in the second half and kind of took the wind out of their sails."
Missed opportunities is how Richland head coach Jeff Jennewein described his team's play after trailing 22-21 heading into the half.
"We missed too many easy shots in the paint," said Jennewein. "They (Risco) were in our faces, but we missed some shots down low we usually make. Biggest factor of the game was our inability to play defense. Very disappointed in our team effort on defense."
Risco put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Rebels 15-8 in the third. Blankenship had some positive things to say about senior forward Rodulfo Johnson of the Tigers.
"Rodulfo played some inspired basketball tonight," said Blankenship. "He (Johnson) went to school in Richland the crowd was kind of getting on him. It just raised his energy level and in doing so, raised the level of our team."
Halford led Risco with 20 points. Rodulfo Johnson had 14 points, while Robert Fowler chipped in with 11 points.
"You can't stop Halford," said Jennewein. "We knew coming in that we had to try and contain him (Halford). We just couldn't do it. He is a very good basketball player."
Cameron Whittaker led Richland with 17 points and Matt Ritch scored 14 points to round out their double-digit scorers.
"We moved the ball well on offense and made some big plays," said Blankenship. "It was a team effort tonight and everyone on the floor looked for the open man. Daryl Vise and Tyler Meadows deal a great job on defense on their shooters. They (Vise and Meadows) didn't have a lot of points, but they were critical to our success tonight."
Richland (6-11) host the Clarkton Reindeer on Tuesday night.
Risco (10-8) will host Delta C-7 on Monday night.
The East Prairie Eagles basketball team continued their hot play on Friday night at Scott City, with a 77-71 road victory against the Rams.
Led by Dez Johnson's 28 points and six 3-pointers, the Eagles erased a one point halftime deficit and used a big third quarter to take down Scott City.
"It was a physical game tonight," said East Prairie head coach Jason Irby. "We got hurt in the first half, as Scott City did a good job of hitting the boards. In the second half, we shot the ball extremely well for the field."
Johnson carried East Prairie in the fourth quarter, by scoring 15 of the 24 points for the Eagles.
"Down the stretch," said Irby, "we hit some clutch free throws to seal the victory. Everyone contributed in some way and Tony (Jones) kept himself out of foul trouble."
Jones had 17 points for East Prairie. Mitchell Winchester had 11 points, while Randy Woods chipped in with 10 points.
Jamie Pinkston led the Rams with 20 points, while Ethan Watkins drained two 3-pointers on his way to 17 points.
The Central boys basketball team outscored Wentzville Holt by eight points in the fourth quarter and pulled out a 72-65 road victory Friday night.
The Tigers (11-9) had a 20-12 advantage in the final period, thanks in large part to hitting 12 of 15 free throws.
Darnell Wilks paced the Tigers with 23 points. Adrian Cox scored 14 points and Jajuan Bell added 11.
"They're a very good defensive team, real physical, and they like to keep the score in the 50s," Central coach Derek McCord said of Holt (8-14). "We wanted to get the score higher than that."