Riverside started hot against Holy Name in the Great Lake Classic at Cleveland Heights. The Beavers’ aggression on the ball had them down four at the half.
But rookie miscues early in the second half allowed the Namers to go on a run that put it out of reach. Riverside chipped it to a single-digit game early in the fourth but that was all it could muster.
The Beavers fell, 84-61, and dropped to 0-1 on the year.
In the fourth quarter, the Beavers used a three-quarter court press and forced five turnovers. Coach Matt Grendel wanted his players to go against an experienced team early in the season.
With three players having experience out with injuries and a fourth on a football recruiting visit, the Beavers had several new names on the court.
Brady McKnight recorded all nine of his points in the first half. The Beavers contended in the paint during the opening half, as there were several contested boards.
Grendel wanted to see the new players make progress. Playing fast and physical also led to 10 first-half turnovers from the Namers.
“For most of our team, that was their first time playing varsity basketball,” Grendel said. “I was very encouraged with what I saw. I think there’s a lot for us to build on and be able to improve from this.”
As the game wore on, Riverside tried to rush getting back into the contest. Holy Name came out of intermission on an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to double figures.
Defensively, the Beavers didn’t have an answer for Drew Styles (28 points), Adam Humenik (25 points) and Max Bollin (24 points).
Even with the second-half missteps, Grendel sees it as a valuable building block for the season.
“The biggest part for us is going to be getting that experience,” Grendel said. “We have to understand that if we make a mistake, we can’t let that turn into many mistakes. We need to be able to respond after a mistake and not let a team go on a run like it happened today.”
Riverside was led by Kyele Harden with 11 points and Colin Durkin with 10.
Riverside aims to rebound when it hosts Solon in nonconference action on Dec. 5.