WILLIAMSTON - Head Coach Bobby Williams doesn't know how long the 2020-2021 high school basketball season will last.

All he knows is the Riverside varsity boys and junior varsity boys are happy the season has started.

"We are excited to get started," said Williams, whose Knights swept Tarboro in the season opener at home Tuesday night - 81-60 in the nightcap and 75-44 in the JV game. "We've been out here for a while getting ready, so it was good to actually get on the court against some competition."

Riverside's varsity girls could not play, as they were dealing with a COVID situation that required quarantine.

Riverside will not play Pamlico County at home on Friday as the Hurricanes are dealing with a COVID situation.

Limited fans were in attendance, and everyone is required to wear masks - including players, coaches and officials. Officials stopped the clock around the midway point of each quarter to help players get acclimated to wearing masks.

"We have been wearing them since around July," Williams said. "They still don't have it - we can't find the right ones that they want, some of them keep falling off and it's a constant. But I told them we have to control what we can control and that's all we can do - it is what it is."

In the varsity boys game, Riverside was led by Avion Pinner, who scored 34 points. Shamir Basnight followed with 12 points, while Tyler Whitehurst added 11, while Javion Griffin managed 10 and Jyren Harrell tallied nine points.

The Knights jumped out quickly behind Pinner, a blocked shot by Griffin and a three-pointer from Whitehurst. RHS led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Cole Baker drew a charging foul to open the second quarter, and later, Pinner's first of four slam dunks off a Griffin assist made it 22-15 with five minutes left in the first half.

Tarboro used a 6-0 run to begin the third quarter which sliced the Riverside lead to three (36-33) in the first 90 seconds.

The Knights responded with 22 of the last 32 points, however, to grab a 58-46 advantage entering the fourth stanza.

Jadarius Bryant, Whitehurst, Keiontae Saunders, Griffin, Pinner (slam dunk), Harrell and Basnight all contributed offense in the balanced third quarter for the home team.

Tarboro was never able to get the deficit under double digits the rest of the way, as Pinner had another dunk and Saunders, Basnight, Whitehurst, Harrell and Griffin all added points as the Knights pulled away for the win - capped off by a triple at the buzzer by Baker.

Jordan Williams and Naz Black paced Tarboro with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while O'marion Lewis chipped in nine.

JV BOYS

Riverside 75,

Tarboro 44

Darius Lewis poured in 25 points, including six 3-pointers, and led three Riverside players in double figures as the Knights eased past Tarboro in the opener.

Riverside led 12-9 after the first quarter but extended its advantage to 40-18 at the half with a 28-9 outburst in the second quarter. The Knights doubled up the Vikings (18-9) in the third stanza to further increase their lead.

Terrell Burns added 17 points for Riverside while Quan Bunch chipped in 10

Contact Jim Green at jgreen@ncweeklies.com.