Riverside Lady Rebels came into the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro riding a wave of victories in building a 12-3 record which was good enough to earn them the fourth seed.
But in a game of runs, the short handed Delaplaine Lady Indians used a strong free throw performance and 32 points from 5'11" junior Karen Dodd to upset the Lady Rebels 64-59 last Friday.
Riverside jumped to an early 9-2 lead only to see Delaplaine reel off 11 of the next 13 points to grab a 13-11 advantage. The Lady Rebels cut the lead to 15-14 after the first quarter and reclaimed a 21-19 edge at the 5:15 mark of the second quarter. But Delaplaine again used another offensive spurt to take the lead for good by outscoring Riverside 14-6 to take a 33-25 margin into the dressing room.
Delaplaine increased their lead to 45-34 entering the final quarter and held off the Lady Rebels to advance to the quarter-finals. The unseeded Lady Indians finished the night 24-29 from the foul line, including a red hot 17-19 in the first half alone.
Dodd went 10-11 from the charity stripe en route to her 32 points while teammate Courtney Cox tacked on 18 more for the Indians.
The Rebel cause was hindered by foul trouble as Marisa Johnson and Sam Dunigan picked up three fouls apiece in the first half. Johnson finished the game with 11 points while Dunigan scored 10. Junior guard Natasha Coffey also scored 11 points for the Lady Rebels while sophomores Kasey Davis and Kelsey Turner pitched in eight points each. Senior point guard Emma Wilson added one point. Riverside finished the night 9-13 from the line and hit six three pointers.
"We got down early and never recovered," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "We just didn't show much energy. We didn't play very good defense, didn't rebound well at all, and had a poor night shooting. But this is a young team that for the most part has played well. Our inexperience shows up at time, as it did tonight, and results in a clunker. But overall, I have been very pleased with the kids this year and have really enjoyed coaching this team. We will get it fixed and will get better."
Riverside returns to regular season play Monday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Harrisburg for a non-conference game with the Lady Hornets.