Coach Cliff Impressed with Progress

By Molly Seales

The Riverdale Rebels played some excellent basketball in early December, coming away with three big wins in three games. The varsity girls got revenge on Cathedral School, who had beat them badly in an early season game. This time the Lady Rebels took a 62-55 win over Cathedral in the PVA double header. Freshman guard Mary Claire Jones had a new career high with 31 points. She also had 6 rebounds, 6 deflections, 5 steals, and 4 assists. Freshman Hanna Catherine Huddleston added 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 deflections. Another freshman Makayla Pickett added 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Senior Jessie Kate Cobb added 6 points and led the team in rebounds with 9 boards and in deflections with 7. Jadyn King had 4 points and 5 rebounds. Madison Chamberlin added 3 points, 8 rebounds, and led the team in deflections with 7.

The JV boys had a tough home game against Columbia Christian and came away with a narrow 27-26 win. Tanner Carlisle had another outstanding double-double with 11 points and 22 rebounds, while Ashton Almond also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Colin Bates and Cannon Breedlove added 2 points each.

Not to be outdone by the JV thriller, the varsity boys also had a thrilling win over Columbia Christian in double overtime. The Rebels came out on top 65-64. Thad Bates had a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 deflections, leading the team in each of these categories. Jace Wilhite added 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Ben Almond had 11 points and led the team in assists with 7. Kyle Guillory was also in double figures with 10 points. Mason Murray added 9 points and had 4 each of rebounds, assists, steals, and deflections.

I was able to catch up with Coach Cliff New over the holidays to get his thoughts on the season so far. Coach Cliff said, “I’m very pleased with all of our teams’ progress from when we started to where we are now. I believe we have really just scratched the surface and will continue to get better with the work the kids are putting in. We have players stepping up as leaders and each kid is settling into his or her role and gaining confidence. We still need to focus each day on improving and taking each game one at a time. I believe we have set a standard for how we play, and we will look to play to that standard or better each game. We can still improve in several areas. I’m very excited about the potential and possibilities that are there for us to strive to achieve as the season progresses.”

All four teams seem to be settling in and adjusting well to Coach Cliff’s coaching style and new ideas, and they are looking great so far. The next games will be at home on Thursday, January 5, as all four teams take on Claiborne Academy. Tipoff for the JV girls will be at 4:00 p.m. followed by three more games. Come out and support your Rebels and Lady Rebels!

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE