The Riverside Junior High Lady Rebels clinched the 3AA North Conference Championship with a 35-31 victory over Maynard Monday night at Lake City.
But the Lady Tigers didn't make it easy on the Lady Rebels as it was a close contest throughout. Riverside led 17-8 after the first quarter and 19-13 at the half. The Lady Rebels stretched their lead to 10 points, 27-17, entering the final quarter. Maynard made one last charge in the closing minutes but the Lady Rebels hung on to stay undefeated in league play and lay claim to the league championship.
Riverside was led by Kelsey Turner who scored 11 points. Kasey Davis and Brianna Driver had eight points each, while Morgan Emery scored seven. Kassie Douglas added one to round out the Rebel offensive attack. Riverside (29-4, 13-0) was 8-14 from the free throw line and hit three treys on the night.
Maynard was led by Jessica Barber who scored 11 points. The Lady Tigers were 9-15 from the foul line.
In senior high action, Maynard used a strong second half to pull away from the Lady Rebels to post a 63-46 victory.
Maynard led 12-8 after the first quarter before stretching their lead to 28-19 at intermission. The Lady Tigers continued to build on their advantage, closing the third quarter with a 47-31 lead. Maggie Bray led all scorers with a game high 24 points while Ashley Kerley scored 15 and Scarlet James added 12 more. Maynard (12-10, 6-6 3AA North) hit 17-29 free throws and nailed four three pointers on the night.
Riverside fell to 13-15 overall and 3-10 in conference play. Sam Dunigan and Marisa Johsnon paced the Lady Rebels with nine points apiece. Ashley Foster came off the bench to score eight. Amanda Milligan and Audrey Booth scored six points each. Natasha Coffey scored five, while Miranda Boyd added three. Riverside finished 16-22 from the charity stripe and made four treys on the night, three by Dunigan.
"It is always tough to win at Lake City," said Maynard Coach Sean Glenn. "This was a good conference win for us. When Maggie Bray comes out on fire it really helps our team. This was a big win for us because it gives us some momentum heading into the district tournament."
"We started the game with six turnovers on our first seven possessions but we battled through it,( said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "We were taking some bad shots and didn't get back on defense, which gave them (Maynard) a lot of easy lay-ups. Before you could blink your eyes, we were down by 11. Things didn't get any better for us in the second half as we continued to turn the ball over. Our biggest problem this year has been turnovers, as we have averaged 24 per game. You cannot win doing that. You have to give Maynard a lot of credit. They hustled, scrapped, and are very physical. Bray (Maggie) is really a good player. She is very athletic, can hit the three, and can also take the ball to the hole. On the positive side, we are shooting free throws better and I thought Audrey Booth played very well tonight. She settled us down and made some good passes and really battled."