The Riverside Lady Rebels evened their season record at 8-8, picking up two big wins this past week. The Rebels opened the week with a 60-43 3AA North Conference victory at Walnut Ridge on Monday night and then gained a measure of revenge by knocking off East Poinsett County 56-55 in a non-conference thriller Thursday night at Caraway.
The Rebels, who had lost twice previously to East Poinsett County earlier in the year, played one of their most complete games of the season in downing the Lady Warriors.
Riverside trailed 14-12 after the first quarter, but rallied to take a 24-19 halftime lead. Riverside then built an 11 point lead, 39-28, before Lauryn Turner, who hit five treys on the night, drilled a three pointer to end the third quarter and pull EPC to within eight, 39-31, entering the final frame.
EPC used Turner's three to gain momentum and scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 39-39. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way until the final seconds, when Riverside's Sam Dunigan was fouled with eight seconds remaining. Dunigan was shaken up on the play, and Ashley Foster replaced the junior to shoot the critical free shots. Foster made the front end of the one and one, to make the score 56-54, but missed the bonus free throw, and the Lady Warriors grabbed the rebound.
EPC's Sade Madden, who led the Lady Warriors with 16 points, was then fouled with five seconds left and went to the line with a chance to send the game into overtime. Madden made the first free throw, but missed the second, and Riverside's Miranda Boyd grabbed the rebound, only to have the Lady Warriors force a tie ball with the possession arrow going to EPC with three seconds left. Trailing 56-55, EPC could not get off a clean shot and the Lady Rebels came away with a huge victory.
"EPC is a good team," Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater said. "Tonight was the first game all year that we have put four quarters together. We looked sharp running our offense. We battled with intensity for a change and got rebounds when we had to have them. We didn't fold after losing our 11 point lead. I give credit to Sam Dunigan and Amanda Milligan for not turning the ball over and running good sets which made our offense run smoothly tonight. I thought Marisa Johnson finished her shots on the inside tonight and Natasha Coffey continues to play well for us. This was a big win and I was really proud of our team," Rainwater stated.
"We needed to pull off a big win," Senior point guard Amanda Milligan said. "We were finally able to do it. I was happy to get the win. Now we have evened our record at 8-8. We all played well tonight. I thought we really hustled and played hard. After we got our big lead, EPC hit some threes and it seemed like we couldn't stop them. But we finally pulled it off. EPC has beaten us twice this year, so this was a sweet win for us," Milligan said.
"We struggled the first three quarter of the game," EPC Coach Bobby Lewallen said. "But in the fourth quarter we finally stepped up and did what we were supposed to do. We hit some big shots and had a chance at the end to win the game but the ball just wouldn't fall for us. I was proud of the way we bounced back in the second half. I thought our turnovers in the first half killed us, and that was the difference in the game," Lewallen, who watched his team fall to 6-4 on the year, concluded.
Riverside placed four players in double figures led by Milligan's 13 points. Johnson had 12 points, Dunigan scored 11 and Coffey tacked on 10 more. Foster, who hit what proved to be the game winning free throw, netted six points while Emilee Hook and Audrey Booth finished with two points each. The Lady Rebels were 4-11 at the charity stripe and hit two treys on the night.
In addition to Madden's game high 16 points, Turner scored 15 more, all on three pointers, while Holly Hinton also hit double figures with 11 points, including three treys. EPC finished 10-18 at the free throw line and hit nine three pointers on the night.
In the junior high game, EPC came out on top with a 27-21 victory over the Lady Rebels. Jordan Madden poured in 17 points to lead the Lady Warriors to the victory.
Riverside was led by Morgan Emery who scored eight. Kassie Douglas had six, Katey Campbell scored four, Amber Murphy tallied two while Kasey Davis chipped in one point.
EPC claimed a 24-14 victory in seventh grade action, as Natasha Pullen led all scorers with 12 points.
Riverside was led by Tiffany Alsup with seven points. Michelle Cobb added five while Anne Marie Johnson and Christy Ward chipped in two points each.
Riverside - Walnut Ridge
On Monday night, Riverside picked up their first conference win of the year by turning back the Lady Bobcats.
Riverside led the entire game, jumping to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter. The Lady Rebels led 26-19 at the half, and built their lead to 50-29 entering the final frame.
Riverside placed three players in double figures, as sophomore guard Natasha Coffey led the way with 18 points. Sam Dunigan was close behind with 16, while Miranda Boyd added 11 more. Marisa Johnson scored six while Amanda Milligan and Emilee Hook had four points each. Ashley Foster rounded out the Rebel scoring with one point. The Lady Rebels were 13-21 at the free throw line and hit one three pointer on the night.
Walnut Ridge also placed three players in double figures, led by Jessica Jarrett's 17 points. Lauren Jones and Jessica Schmidt had 10 points a piece for the Bobcats who hit 7-11 free throws and nailed four treys on the night.
In junior high action, Riverside came from behind to pull out a 36-29 victory over the Lady Bobcats. Walnut Ridge led throughout the contest, 7-4 after the first quarter, 15-13 at the half, and 23-22 entering the final quarter of play, before the Rebels rallied for the victory.
Riverside was led by Morgan Emery and Brianna Driver who scored nine points each. Kassie Douglas netted six, while Kasey Davis and Katey Campbell scored four points each. Kelsey Turnver and Kailey Holt rounded out the Rebel attack with two points apiece.