LOGAN Continuity is finally starting to pay off for Riverton.
Utilizing the same starting line-up for just the second time this year, the Silver Wolves resembled a team in midseason form Thursday in a 69-58 victory over Orem in the opening round of the Logan High Holiday Classic.
"We finally had about 10 days of practice where we've had the same line-up going," said Riverton coach Steve Galley. "We've had injuries, sickness, funerals, all sorts of stuff, and we haven't had any continuity in practice."
You would've never guessed judging by their performance in Cache County particularly on the offensive end.
Riverton shot 58 percent, including an impressive 72 in the second half as Orem tried rallying from its nine-point halftime deficit.
"You've got to play with certain other guys consistently to know what they're going to do and how they're going to play," said Galley. "I think that's starting to happen."
With the win, Riverton advances to the semifinals of the Holiday Classic and will face Jordan at 3:15 p.m. Orem will meet Juan Diego at 11:45 a.m. in the consolation bracket.
Scott Friel and Ryan Thomas led the way for Riverton with 17 points apiece, with Cory Cardwell chipping in with 12.
"Scott Friel is getting more and more comfortable in our system," said Galley about his move-in from Hunter High, one of the players who dealt with illness early in the season. "He pretty much plays through everything. He'd probably play with a broken leg. He's a warrior."
Despite the satisfaction of opening the tournament with a win, Galley couldn't help but bemoan the fact his team came out lethargic and ice cold for the second straight game. It happened a few days before the Christmas break in a win over Murray, and it happened again in Cache County Thursday.
Orem's half-court pressure forced Riverton into several quick turnovers as it jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead. Just like he did against Murray when his team fell behind early, Galley called a time-out to settle his players down.
The Silver Wolves responded with 10-0 run to end the first quarter, capturing a lead they never relinquished. By halftime Riverton led by nine and at one point in the second half it led by as many as 16.
Riverton's defense had as much to do with the impressive victory as its sharp shooting did.
"I especially liked it when they got on a two or three basket run, and we were able to come back and force them into a couple turnovers, which usually led to something good for us," said Galley.The win helped Riverton improve to 5-3 on the season while it dropped Orem to 3-3.