Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rams Fall to Powerhouse Dillard in Sunshine Series | Six-Time State Champion Panthers Limit Rams to 34 Percent Shooting

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rams Fall to Powerhouse Dillard in Sunshine Series | Six-Time State Champion Panthers Limit Rams to 34 Percent Shooting

Article excerpt

BOYS BASKETBALL

FORT MYERS -- Before the game, BJ Ivey said the key against a bigger Fort Lauderdale Dillard team was to make shots.

Riverview High's top two shooters -- AJ Caldwell and Brian Whitley -- were a combined 9-for-33. That did not bode well for the Rams' chances.

The Panthers grabbed control early in the second quarter and never relinquished it in a 77-59 victory over Riverview in a Sunshine Series game Wednesday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.

"That was the difference in the game," Ivey said after the Rams shot 17-for-50, 34 percent, as a team.

The poor shooting subsequently led to a large disparity on the boards, too. The Panthers (11-3) owned a 43-15 rebounding edge. RaiQuan Gray, a 6-foot-8, 230-pounder senior heading to Florida State, had 16 rebounds, one more than the Rams.

"We knew that was going to happen," Ivey said. "They are bigger than us at every position. I didn't think it would be that bad, but when you don't make shots it makes it that way."

Riverview (9-4) had 11 steals and forced 18 turnovers, which kept the Rams in the game early as Caldwell, Whitley and freshman Malachi Wideman converted them into layups.

"I liked we were able to turn them over and we had opportunities in transition, but we didn't capitalize," Ivey said. "Making shots would have kept

that margin a little closer. I liked our chances down the stretch."

The Rams had a 15-14 advantage before Dillard, owner of six state titles, closed the first half with a 20-8 run. Of the Panthers' 14 first-half baskets, 13 were layups. That trend continued throughout the second half, as they made 31 of 34 shots in the paint area.

Whitley led Riverview with 17 points, along with three steals and three assists. Caldwell added 15 points and four steals, three assists. Wideman finished with 13 points, three steals and two assists for the Rams, who defeated defending Class 8A State Champion Wellington, 65-62, in a Sunshine Series game last year in the event.

"You know they are bigger than you, so you just try to play your game and let your coaches teach you and learn from it," Wideman said. …

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