Boys basketball: Johnny Riva, Braiden Miller help lead Interstate 8 all-stars past Little 10

Riva nets 30 points on 10 3s, Miller posts a double-double in the I8′s 129-103 triumph over the L10 at 38th Leland Lions Club Shootout

SHABBONA — It was a pretty fitting ending to the type of game La Salle-Peru’s Johnny Riva had in the 38th Leland Lions Club Little 10 & Interstate 8 All-Star Shootout on Saturday at Indian Creek High School.

Riva capped a 30-point, eight-rebound contest with a 50-foot swish at the final buzzer — his 10th 3-pointer of the game — to close out a 129-103 victory for the I8 over the L10 in the senior only event that wasn’t held the past two years due to the pandemic.

“I caught the ball, turned and saw the clock running out and just let it go,” said Riva, who with the hot hand finished with 19 shots from beyond the arc. “I can’t say I knew it was going in right away, so I was just as surprised as everyone else when it did. It was pretty crazy.

“I had a couple games this past season where I shot the ball like that, but just maybe not the number of shots,” he added with a grin. “I just wanted to come here tonight, have fun with a great bunch of talented guys and play as well as I could. We had a practice in Rochelle on Thursday, just like a scrimmage, and it was such a blast. I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight, but boy was it a fun time.”

The I8, which finished 25 of 57 from behind the arc, led 30-18 after the opening quarter, 54-40 at halftime and 92-67 after three.

Ottawa’s Braiden Miller also had a strong game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Miller had five dunks, including one on an alley-oop from his Pirates teammate Luke Cushing in the final period.

“I had a lot of fun, for sure,” Miller said. “This exceeded how I thought it would be. The practice we had was awesome and this was a great bunch of guys to get to know a little better. I’ve never been on a team that scored over 100 points let alone 129.

“(Luke and I) were hoping to get one of those during the season but just never connected. It was awesome that we were able to make it happen tonight.”

Plano’s Mason Accidentale finished with 16 points, Cushing had 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals, Rochelle’s Ryan Simmons and Morris’ Myles Johnson (four assists) each netted 12 points, Sycamore’s Brody Armstrong (six rebounds) had 10 points and Morris’ Henry Hansen posted eight points and nine rebounds.

The Little 10, which was just 13 for 50 from distance, was led by 18 points and seven rebounds from Hinckley-Big Rock’s Judson Scott.

“I had so much fun tonight, it was like playing in an AAU game,” said Scott with a huge smile. “It was a blast to play with guys from the other schools that I’ve been playing against for years. I figured the game would be high scoring, but I never thought both teams would score over 100 points. I’m happy I was able to play pretty good in my last basketball game in high school.”

Somonauk’s Alex Krejci had 14 points, nine rebounds and four steals, H-BR’s Richard Hintzsche 12 points, DePue’s Andres Moreno 11 points, Somonauk’s Brendan Roberts (nine rebounds) and Indian Creek’s Cole Oleson nine points each. Newark’s Austin Tollefson (five assists, three steals), Serena’s Ben Shugrue (seven rebounds) and Somonauk’s Brock Zimmerman each netted eight points with Newark’s Grandon Mitchell scoring six points.

“I don’t think I could have had a better time,” Krejci said. “I wasn’t expecting to lose by 30 points, but it was a great time none the less. It was cool to be able to play with Brendan and Brock one last time, as well as the other Little Ten guys. I thought we meshed as a team pretty well after being public enemy No. 1 for four years.

“We were able to get together for three practices before tonight. It was like we’ve all been friends forever, but just didn’t see each other all the time.”