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Riott falling in line with his predecessors and adding to Owls' point guard tradition


Spokane is riding quite a streak of standout point guards, with Ricky Riott emerging as the Owls’ second-leading scorer this season.

Over the past decade, Spokane’s point guards have included the likes of Storm Price, Jackson Bray, Sam Shuman, Jace Leigh and now Riott. 

Price was an All-SWCL First Team pick in 2016, Bray received All-SWCL honorable mention recognition as a sophomore and junior in 2019 and 2020, as did Shuman as a senior in 2021. A year ago, both Leigh and Riott were All-SWCL honorable mention selections.

Riott is well aware of his predecessors.

“I've known them all my life,” Riott said. “To come out this year and be our point guard and leader, it's the role I feel I should have and I take it seriously. It feels good to be in the situation I'm in.”

Riott was teammates with both Leigh and Shuman and learned from both.

“Jace gave me pointers on how to have confidence and what to do in some situations,” Riott said. “I remember Sam had insane handles. He could dribble the ball as well as anyone I've ever seen. Watching him as a freshman, I was like, 'Dang, I want to be like that, too, and handle the ball like he can.’”

Riott finished the Spokane Tournament last week with 50 points, as the Owls lost to eventual tourney champ Greenwood in the first round, fell to Southwest in a consolation semifinal and beat Reeds Spring in the seventh-place game.

Riott is responding well to being both a playmaker and a scorer for Spokane. He is averaging 10.1 points a game and is shooting 35 percent from 3-point land. He had four 3s and 24 points against Reeds Spring.

“I've never been the main scorer, I've never had to be, so it's new to me,” Riott said.

Coach Newt Starrett ideally would like to take some of the Owls’ point guard duties away from Riott to free him for more scoring opportunities.

“All year long I've tried to get others to bring the ball up to take pressure off of Ricky, so he can focus on the scoring aspect of things,” Starrett said., “We've got to find somebody who can have confidence bringing the ball up the floor on a consistent basis. We're trying to find the right person. We've had a couple people we've looked to, but it hasn't panned out so far. Hopefully, we find somebody. (Riott) is doing a pretty good job of bringing it up and scoring.

“It's a blessing as a coach when you have a point guard you can trust bringing the ball down the floor,” he added. “It’s a bonus when they can shoot like Ricky can.”

Starrett added Riott has also stepped up as the Owls’ captain on the court.

“He's took it upon himself to be a leader and drive our energy,” Starrett said. “He likes that challenge and is looking forward to it. Hopefully, the other guys can hop on board and we can get our team together to the point where we can rattle off some wins going into Districts.”