PARAGOULD The Riverside Lady Rebels used a smothering press and hot shooting exploding out of the gate enroute to a convincing 61-31 rout of the turnover plagued EPC Warriors in the opening round of the Tri-County Tournament at Paragould.
The Lady Rebels sprinted to an 11 point lead 19-8 after the first quarter. Riverside stretched the lad to 32-16 at the half as EPC had a terrible time just getting a short off.
The second half proved to be more of the same while the Lady Rebs built their lead to 25 at 49-24 after the third period.
"Defense was the key," said Rebel Coach Nancy Ritter. "We were able to press and take them out of their game," she added.
The Lady Rebels advanced to the semi-finals with a balanced scoring attack led by three players in double digits, Miranda Stephens led the way with 11 points while Amanda Milligan and Keryn Douglas added 10 each.
Hayley Faulkner scored 8, Amanda Jo Chruchill had 6, Chelsea Couch scored 5, Miranda Boyd 4, Amanda Dunigan 3, while Ashley Foster and Consuelo Pollard added 2 each.
The semi-finals were not as kind to the Lady Rebels as Paragould forced 28 turnovers on their way to the finals with a 59-37 victory.
Riverside jumped to a quick 6-0 lead but then the Lady Rams turned on the heat and outscored the Lady Rebels 23-2 in the second period to blow the game wide open.
Paragould carried a commanding 33-10 lead into the dressing room at the half.
The Lady Rams coasted in the second half as the Lady Rebels saw their tournament championship chances slip away.
"We beat ourselves," Riverside Coach Nancy Ritter said. "We couldn't handle their press, lost our confidence and just got down on ourselves," she added.
Ritter said the Lady Rebs needed to work on their press offense but she was encouraged that her team didn't quit in the second half.
Miranda Stephens paced Riverside with 9 points while Amanda Milligan added 6. Keryn Douglas scored 5 before leaving with a wrist injury. Amanda Dunigan also hit for 5. Amanda Milligan put in 6, Chelsea Couch 4, and Miranda Boyd, Amanda Jo Churchill, Ashley Foster and Haley Faulkner all scored 2 each.
Taryn Pruitt led Paragould with a game high 13 points.
The Junior High Lady Rebels played two games in the Tri-County Tournament beating Crowley's Ridge Academy 38-26 in the opening round before being eliminated by the BIC Mustangs 44-27.
In the CRA game Samantha Dunigan led the Lady Rebels with 14 points. Marisa Johnson scored 8, Emma Wilson 6, Jona Dixon 4 and Megan Adams 2.
Marisa Johnson scored 14 to pace Riverside against BIC. Samantha Dunigan put in 7, Kelsey Turner 3, Megan Adams 2, and Jona Dixon 1.