CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Riverside got a pretty tough draw for its season opener in the FCA Hoops Classic and made the most of it Friday, holding off Magnolia 76-70.
Tyus Wood led the Warriors with 32 points and Tamar Lawson added 22 and Josh Carpenter 10.
The Blue Eagles led 67-66 when Zach Willhoite hit a shot with 2:44 left, but Wood turned a steal into a layup and the Warriors had the lead for good at the 2:17 mark.
Wood also provided a thunderous blocked shot under the basket as Magnolia was trying to tie the game at 71 with 47 seconds remaining.
Class A Magnolia went 21-4 last year and returned three of its top six scorers.
"I have all the respect in the world for Magnolia,'' said first-year Riverside coach Ryan Carter. "Before the game, I'm thinking, 'Why did we get this draw?' I knew I only had one senior [Wood], and he's a good leader, but I'm worried about what kind of senior leadership we'd have. What happened if it's a close game?
"But for the first time out, they responded well. We have a 24-hour rule: We have 24 hours to celebrate if we win, and 24 hours to sulk if it's a loss. Then it's back to work.''
Wood, who has played for three head coaches in his four years at Riverside, said it's all for the best.
"We've got to take it positive,'' he said. "They just want to get the best out of you. We've got to support them and believe in them.''
Wood thinks the Warriors, who haven't had a winning season in 10 years, are ready to turn the corner.
"We're working really hard — all of us and not just one of us,'' he said. "We want to win the state championship. We're working harder than any year I've been here. They push us really good. We're working as hard as possible.''
For Magnolia, Spencer Campbell scored 26 points, Willhoite 24 and Preston Boswell 17.
n VALLEY 72, SHERMAN 57: Sophomore Henry Barron-Houchins knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 20 points as Valley knocked off Sherman.
The Greyhounds ran out to a 10-2 first-quarter lead and a tenacious Valley press never allowed Sherman to pose a real threat.