Basketball is supposed to be a five on five game, but when the short-handed Buffalo Island Central Lady Mustangs lost Jamie Lamar to fouls with 24 seconds left in the third quarter, Coach Mike Kinard's team was forced to play the rest of the game with only four players on the court.
The result was a 61-48 Riverside win despite a valiant effort by four Lady Mustangs who refused to quit.
The game was foul married from start to finish with both teams shooting a combined 65 free throws. Neither team could find the mark from the charity stripe as Riverside shot a paltry 18 for 39, while BIC didn't fare much better hitting only 12 out of 26 tries.
"We did not do well at the free throw line," Lady Rebel Coach Nancy Ritter said. "We couldn't connect at all and that's what kept BIC in the game despite our five on four advantage," added Ritter.
The Lady Rebels jumped to a 14-12 first quarter lead before watching BIC hit eight three pointers enroute to a 29-24 lead.
Holly Cagle nailed four of the treys on her way to 12 points. Leslie Cobb led the Lady Mustangs with 14, while carrying much of the load when BIC had only four players on the floor.
"We don't have enough people on our team to commit useless fouls," Coach Kinard said. "We put them on the line too much and helped bail them out," said Kinard.
Kinard said Riverside is too good a team to give them that kind of an advantage. Riverside is probably a little better than we are and so we had to play very good to have a chance to win," added Kinard.
Riverside carried a 40-37 lead into the final quarter and the one player advantage proved too much for BIC to overcome.
"I had four players who played their hearts out. I couldn't have been more proud of a group that had to battle such overwhelming odds. Riverside was just too good tonight," concluded Kinard.
Ritter praised BIC's effort, especially Cagle's shooting.
"We didn't shoot well at all tonight, but I thought our defense and the press was good and made the difference," Ritter said.
The Lady Rebels placed four players in double figures led by Amanda Dunigan's 16; Miranda Stephens scored 15, Keryn Douglas had 12, while Hailey Faulkner added 10 points and 17 rebounds. Chelsea Couch rounded out the Lady Rebels' scoring with eight.
Rounding out the scoring for BIC was Jamie Lamar with nine, while Tara Roach had eight and Sara Walker chipped in five.
In the junior high game, BIC overwhelmed the Lady Rebels 39-9. Jessica Shepard led BIC with 15 and Nan Lee Bridges added 13. Lauryn Smith had four, Jency Key scored three and Breanna Cole and Kasey Garrett chipped in two each.
For Riverside Emily Hook led the way with seven and Amber Nelson scored two.