The Riverside girls wasted no time repeating the action from their previous game against Marked Tree on Thursday. They came up with a steal on Marked Tree's first possession and shut the Indians down with good defense.
The Lady Rebels ran the full court press early and set the tempo for the game. The Rebels jumped out to a 7-0 lead with the press and some scoring in the paint. Marked Tree responded with some changes and started beating the press and getting some rebounds.
"This was kinda a tough game. We didn't do really well on the inside at times," remarked Coach Greg Rainwater.
The Indians pulled to within three at 11-8, and that would be as close as they would get. The Rebels continued to hit the defensive boards really well and didn't give Marked Tree any second shots. At the end of one, the Rebels led 18-10.
In the second quarter, the Rebels raised their intensity on the press and got a host of steals and easy lay-ups.
"The press in the second was very active; we got lots of steals and went from a six point lead to a 23 point margin," Coach Rainwater said. They completely shut Marked Tree off of the boards and took away any chance the Indians had of scoring.
Marked Tree played much tougher defense in the second, as well, and made the Rebels work for their points. The Rebels led 35-16 at the half. The first half was marked by the Rebels converting their easy shots and Marked Tree missing too many "gimmees." Although the Indians did a much better job against the press than they did in the previous meeting, Riverside's frequent substitutions and frenetic defense was too much for Marked Tree.
The Rebels came out very patient in the third. They ran their half-court offense well and waited on good shots. The Rebels didn't press in the third, but they channeled that same intensity they had in the first half into their half-court defense.
Fatigue began to be a factor for Marked Tree and the Rebels felt comfortable bringing in a lot of people from the bench. With a 23-point lead at the end of the third, the fourth was bench-clearing time for the Rebels. They coasted to a 53-37 victory.
The Rebels most notable contributions came from their post players, who delivered big buckets when they were most need. Standout play from Kayla Stevens, Hailey Faulkner, and Amanda Churchill was a big part of this win. Melody Ward showed real leadership and carried the Rebels offensive load; she led all scores with 13. Amy Barrett added 10 for the Rebels. Trenicia Hendricks led Marked Tree with 12. The Lady Rebels are 7-8 overall.
The junior girls ran out to a big lead against Marked Tree. They led 40-14 at the end of three quarters and coasted to a 46-21 victory. Ashley Foster led the Rebels with 12. Amanda Milligan had eight. The coach also commended Jae Ashabranner for her play. Marked Tree was led by Rudy Martin with 14.
"This was a big win for us. Walnut Ridge was in second place in the conference and they had beaten everybody else," said Coach Rainwater. This was a close game until the fourth quarter, when the Rebels pulled away. Melody Ward had 18 for the Rebels, and Keryn Douglas 13. Kenna McIntyre led Walnut Ridge with 14.
This game started out really slow. The Rebels led 18-14 at the break. They stretched the lead in the third and only allowed Walnut Ridge three points in the entire second half. Jae Ashabranner and Tori Gray had eight points. Amanda Milligan and Whitney Shasteen had six.