Buffalo Island Central's dynamic duo of Jessica Shepard and Nan Lee Bridges combined for 55 points, four more than the entire Riverside team, as the Lady Mustangs raced past their arch-rivals 65-51 in the semi-finals of the 3AA North District Tournament Wednesday night at Marmaduke.
BIC held a slim 9-7 lead after the first quarter but caught fire in the second period and outscored Riverside 23-9 to take a 32-16 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
Lady Rebel Marisa Johnson tried to keep Riverside in the game in the second half as she scored 18 of her 20 points after intermission. Riverside trimmed the lead to 48-37 by the end of the third quarter as the Lady Rebels scored the last five points of the period, including three free throws by freshman Briana Driver. But in the end the Lady Mustangs, led by their two top guns, Shepard and Bridges, proved too much for Riverside to overcome as BIC advanced to the finals where they were to face the Piggott Lady Mohawks for the District Championship.
The loss assured Riverside of the fourth seed in the upcoming Region 4 Tournament at Earle where the Lady Rebels will face top seeded and 3AA South Champion East Poinsett County in first round action on Wednesday.
Riverside placed one other player in double figures as senior Sam Dunigan pitched in 11 points. Natasha Coffey scored eight, Emilee Hook had four, while Kelsey Turner and Driver netted three points apiece. Kassie Douglas and Morgan Emery scored one point each for Riverside, who finished 13-22 as a team from the free throw line.
Shepard led the way for BIC with 33 points, including three treys while Bridges ended the night with 22. Ashley Tate scored five points, Lauryn Smith had three, while Kasey Garrett added two to round out the Mustang attack. BIC finished 15-19 from the charity stripe and hit four three pointers.