Boys Basketball Featured in Local Paper

Boys Basketball Featured in Local Paper

The December 17, 2014 edition of The Neighbor Newspapers featured the Boys Basketball program on the front page of the Sports Section.

Read the article by Greg Oshust

 

Raiders returning to winning ways with strong start

by Greg Oshust
12.17.14 - 04:05 pm

Riverwood took its share of hits last year as a young Raider squad struggled to an 8-16 record.

The 2014-15 season appears to be moving in a more positive direction so far for Riverwood, which was 7-4 overall and 3-1 in Region 7AAAAA.

After a 2-2 start, the Raiders proceeded to win five of their next six games — including a 66-48 victory over region rival Cambridge last Tuesday.

Riverwood has also played a couple of Sandy Springs rivals, losing to Holy Innocents' 63-48 Nov. 18 and defeating Mount Vernon Presbyterian 47-46 Nov. 21.

"I feel good about the direction we're going in," Riverwood coach Buck Jenkins said. "We won some tough games and we've played a tough, competitive schedule up to this point. I feel good about the direction the team is going."

After struggling to come together as a team last year, Jenkins said he is encouraged about how his squad has gelled so far this season.

"Without a doubt, it's because the kids have really embraced the idea of being unselfish," he said. "Sharing the basketball on offense and playing hard-nosed defense and that's been the difference. A lot of the kids on the team this year also played on that 8-16 team last year and we took some lumps last year.

"After the season, we sat down and talked about it and the returning guys made a pact that this year would be successful. The No. 1 thing about this team is being disciplined, being willing to share the ball, being about the team."

Jenkins added his team has benefited from an extra year of experience as well as working to improve their skills during the offseason.

"The same guys from last year are back this year," he said. "We knew last year was going to be a learning process and I think the biggest thing this group of kids realized that although our record was 8-16 last year, we lost a lot of close games.

"We shot 50 percent from the foul line and we turned the ball over a bit too much. So these guys realized that and they have made the adjustments this year. I think so far this year we're shooting about 70 percent from the foul line and our turnovers are significantly down."

Kohl Roberts, a 6-foot-6 junior power forward, leads the team with 14.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and five blocked shots a game.

Five-foot-9 senior point guard Jordan Renfro, a three-year starter, has also played a crucial role with 13.1 points and 3.4 assists per contest.

"Jordan is providing real leadership for us," Jenkins said.

The Raiders have also received key contributions from 5-7 junior guard Elijah Johnson (9.7 ppg), 6-0 senior forward Ansari Smith (6.8 ppg), 6-1 senior forward Marcus Rosser (2.9 ppg), 5-10 senior guard Tommy Myers (2.8 ppg) and 5-8 senior Zander Vaz (0.9 ppg).

Riverwood is joined by local rivals North Springs and North Atlanta in Subregion B of 7AAAAA.

"Every team in the region is very evenly matched," Jenkins said. "No team is going to run away with it. You have to prepare every night and execute every night to be successful. So far, the guys have done a good job. We've played three region games so far and each of those games have been competitive."