The children of Gerald Jennings were on hand at the finals of the newly named Gerald Jennings Holiday tournament (formerly Tri-County Tournament) to present the trophies to the final teams. Superintendent of Riverside Schools explained how the tournament had changed since its beginning in the 1980's and now had teams from more than the three original counties. He explained how the tournament committee decided to rename the tournament to honor Gerald Jennings who was instrumental in starting the tournament and had given 40 years to education in the form of teacher, principal, and superintendent in the Lake City, Caraway, Riverside and EPC School Districts.
Superintendent Michael Pierce of the East Poinsett County School District read a letter from Mr. Jennings who was unable to attend due to illness. Jennings expressed his gratitude to the committee for this honor and was glad to have Yates, Pierce, and his children to do the honor of presenting the trophies.
What a better way to honor Jennings but for the Lady Rebels of the Riverside to bring the trophy home to the school were Jennings began his career. Riverside gained the win over Paragould 44-33 in a very physical and emotional match-up.
RHS held a slim 6-4 lead after one and 13-9 at the half in a very slow scoring half of basketball. Riverside held on to a 266-20 lead after three and was able to hold on for the championship.
Amanda Dunigan led all scorers for Riverside with 18 points. Others scoring in the win were Keryn Douglas nine; Sam Dunigan six; Amanda Milligan five; and two each from Hailey Faulkner, Miranda Stephens, and Ashley Foster.
"I thought it was a well played game from both teams and the most intense game we have played in a month," Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater said. "We played well together as Paragould is a very physical team and we were able to battle through and keep our composure."
Rainwater also expressed his thanks to the committee for the honor of Gerald Jennings whose daughter played for Rainwater on the state runner-up team of 2001.
"It made winning this tournament even more special for us," he stated. "We plan on taking the trophy by so Mr. Jennings can see it."
Riverside 51 Manila 32
Riverside advanced to the finals with a 51-32 win over Manila. Riverside jumped out to a 9-2 lead after one and a 26-11 lead over the sluggish Lady Lions. Leading 40-21 in the third the Lady Rebels held on for the win.
Amanda Dunigan led RHS with 13 points. Others scoring for Riverside were Amanda Milligan nine; Ashley Foster seven; Miranda Stephens five; Emilee Hook five; Sam Dunigan four; Keryn Douglas four; Hailey Faulkner two and Amanda Churchill two.