CARTERVILLE – Although it was just the first game of the season for both teams, Riverview Gardens and Carterville put on a thrilling show for the fans Thursday in the Ernie Bozarth Memorial Tournament.
In the end, Riverview Gardens, a St. Louis high school, outlasted Carterville, 70-67, in double overtime.
The Rams (1-0) received a tremendous performance from their 6-foot-6 guard, Zeke Moore. The junior, who already has Division I scholarship offers from Drake and Indiana State among others, racked up a game-high 33 points.
Despite a slow start, Riverview Gardens, which held a one-point edge at the intermission, led nearly the entire second half until the Lions forced overtime.
“We had a three-hour bus ride and got caught in traffic on the way down here, so it kind of took our legs a little bit, and we were a little flat early on,” said Riverview Gardens coach Gerard Moore. “In the second half, even though we didn’t shoot it well, they willed their way to a win. We’ve got some tough kids. I’m a new coach here, and we’re just trying to change the culture and get things done. They did it tonight.”
Blake Watson hit a jump shot near the foul line to give Carterville its first lead since the second quarter with 40 seconds left in regulation. But the Rams’ 6-foot-7 center K Quan Carter scored in the paint and sent the game to the first overtime.
Missed opportunites ultimately cost the Lions. After Moore scored in transition to knot the contest at 64-all with a minute remaining in the first overtime, Carterville’s Matt Galik had two foul shots with four seconds left. He missed them both, which sent the contest to double overtime.
“We usually take care of it in situations like that, but tonight it didn’t happen,” said Carterville coach Scott Burzynski. “Give Riverview Gardens credit because they executed, especially on defense. Our guys competed and played hard. We’re going to learn from this.”
After Carter scored to open the second overtime, neither squad could muster points for the next two minutes. Will Galik went to the charity stripe and missed two free throws with 1:40 to play, and Riverview Gardens still held a 66-64 edge.
The Lions still had a chance to tie, but Blake Watson’s 3-point attempt, which looked like it was going in, rimmed out at the final buzzer.
Despite combining to make just four of 10 attempts from the free-throw line, Matt Galik (24) and Will Galik (22) still racked up 46 points between them. Each of the twins drained four shots from downtown as well. Watson added seven points.
The tournament continues Friday night when Carterville travels to the host school, Murphysboro (2-0).
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