Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside bolted to a 12 point lead and then had to hold off a late Manila rally as the Lady Rebels defeated the Lady Lions 61-53 in senior girls basketball action Thursday night at Caraway.
Riverside jumped to a 23-11 first period advantage behind sophomore Morgan Emery, who scored eight of her 10 first half points in the opening quarter. The Lady Lions battled back to cut the lead to 31-23 at the half, as freshman Kimberly Wise scored six second quarter points to keep Manila in the game.
Manila continued to cut into the lead, outscoring the Lady Rebels 15-11 in the third period to trim Riverside's advantage to 42-38 entering the final quarter. Riverside built a 42-30 lead with 2:22 left in the third period, only to see Manila go on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter. After a Colleen Kemp free throw, Michelle Daniel nailed a three pointer at the 1:20 mark, chopping the Rebel lead to 42-34. Daniel then made a steal and drove the length of the court for a lay-up with :47 seconds remaining before Rebekah White's 12-footer just before the third period buzzer capped off the 8-0 run.
The Lady Lions closed to within two when Wise banked in a five footer to open the fourth quarter, but that was as close as Manila would get. Sophomore Katey Campbell's three pointer pushed the Rebel lead back to 45-40. Brianna Driver followed with a lay-up, giving Riverside a 47-40 edge with 6:26 left in the game.
Katie Veach ripped a trey to pull Manila to 47-43 at the 6:15 mark, but back to back baskets by Campbell and Riverside's lone senior Marisa Johnson, who finished with a double-double, pushed the Rebel lead back to 51-43 with 4:26 to go. Riverside sank 6-8 free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory and improve their record to 2-1 on the season. With the loss, Manila dropped to 2-2 on the year.
"We came out and played pretty smooth early and got a lead, and then made some silly fouls, but then rode it out," Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater said. "We are a very young team, starting three sophomores, one junior and one senior, so we go through spells where we don't look very smooth while at other times we look pretty good. Marisa and Brianna worked very hard in the post, and when our guards are taking care of the ball we can be pretty good. But when our shots aren't going in we don't look very good. We've had several kids who have worked hard on their three point shooting, and it showed tonight. We wondered where that was going to come from this year. Katey (Campbell), Kelsey (Turner), Morgan (Emery) and some others are coming through for us. Marisa got in foul trouble in the first half but came out in the second half and really took over. I was proud of her. She's our only senior but is a good leader and a good kid. The young players look up to her. If you are only going to have one senior, she's a good one to have."
"We came back after getting behind early and cut the lead to two, but we made only 8-22 free throws and just never could seem to get it together," Manila Coach Codie Malloy said. "We missed several lay-ups and gave up too many give-me baskets. I don't know where our focus was. I didn't think we played very well. I did think in the first half we took Johnson out of the game and got her in foul trouble. But then their guards took over for them by penetrating and scoring. Riverside got us in foul trouble in the second half and took us out of our rhythm. We weren't able to get in a sequence of what we wanted to do. We've lost to two pretty good teams in BIC and Riverside. We're a young team and we need to get some more games under our belt. We play BIC again next week in a non-conference game which is a good opportunity for us to get better."
Emery paced the Lady Rebels with 17 points and four steals while Johnson had 15 points, 15 rebounds, and also had four steals. Driver also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Campbell had seven points and five assists while Kailey Holt had six points and four steals and Kelsey Turner added four points and three assists. Riverside finished 15-24 from the free throw line and hit four three pointers on the night.
Manila placed three players in double figures led by White's 15 points. Wise finished with 13 points while Daniel added 10. Kemp scored six, Veach tallied five while Heather Dohzier and Roccio Bedolla added two points apiece.
In junior high action, Manila came away with a 43-31 victory as Savannah Jones led the Junior Lions with 14 points while Maegan Presson added 10 points. Jonna Dodd scored six points, Katie Donner tallied five, Kristen Painter and Brittany Craine netted three points apiece while Jordan Robertson added two points. The Lady Lions finished 5-8 from the free throw line.
Courtney Thomas led the Rebels with nine points while Michelle Cobb added seven. Beth Anne Snyder scored five, Taylor Bonness and Ashley Calvert netted four points apiece while Kyley Campbell contributed two points. Riverside was 4-10 from the foul line and hit three treys.
Manila led 13-3 after the first quarter and 24-18 at the half before opening up a 33-21 lead entering the final quarter of play.
Manila will return to action Monday night when they travel to Monette to take on Buffalo Island Central before traveling to Weiner for a Thursday night non-conference match-up with the Lady Cardinals.
Riverside will return to action Friday night when they travel to Armorel to face the Lady Tigers.