Rivera's hot shooting sparks Dundee-Crown
Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber normally might have cringed at senior guard Gabe Rivera firing away from behind the 3-point arc with a seven-point lead and 2:00 remaining in the game.
But as hot as Rivera was on Wednesday night, Huber didn't even mind. Rivera was the Chargers' closer, scoring 14 of their last 16 points.
Rivera banked in a 3 late in the third quarter, then continued his torrid shooting with 11 fourth-quarter points as D-C defeated Prairie Ridge, 53-45, in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game.
"Gabe's been playing steady all year for us and he probably doesn't get the recognition like (forward) Kennon (Cook) does, but he's a good player," Huber said. "When he makes shots like he did tonight, he's really tough to guard. He's good with the ball, he can get to the basket."
Rivera finished 7 of 8 from the field with four 3s. His second 3, banked in from the top of the key, came with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter to put the Chargers (9-4, 4-2 FVC) up 40-34. Prairie Ridge (6-7, 1-4) led, 25-22, at halftime thanks to three 3s from Jackson Otto.
"It was the energy in the second half, I just brought energy for my team," said Rivera, who scored a game-high 21 points. "I thought it was off, but the bank was open. This was my best game."
Jason Huber, who scored 14 for the Chargers, hit his first three shots of the third quarter as D-C came out hot.
"We got stops on defense," Jason Huber said. "We really moved the ball on offense and made some shots from the outside. We were able to get out of our funk a little bit.
"When Gabe gets going, he can light it up. He's one of our leaders. It's not always your day every day. When everyone doesn't care who scores and we all play together, that's when we're really good."
D-C hit 50% from the field for the game (20 of 40) and outrebounded the Wolves, 27-8. Cook scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Rivera and Cook missed three of D-C's games at DeKalb's Chuck Dayton Holiday Classic over the break for COVID-19 quarantine.
"Missing Kennon and Gabe is a big chunk of our squad," Lance Huber said. "They help us quite a bit."
Forward James Muse led Prairie Ridge with 13 points, while Otto finished with 11. Wolves coach Ryan Smith lauded D-C's offense for its 31-point second half.
"They exposed us on doing some of the little things right on the defensive end of the floor," Smith said. "They were disciplined. Their guards beat us off the dribble, they got touches inside and were getting backdoor layups and open 3s.
"I think we're a better team (than that) defensively, but Crown's solid. They were just efficient. We made some mistakes defensively and they didn't mix up on their end and found a way to finish. They took it to us."