Lady Rebels nip Rector 52-50 in key Conference matchup

Friday, November 24, 2006

Town Crier Sports Staff

If you are going to win a conference championship, you have to take care of business at home. The Riverside Lady Rebels did just that Tuesday night at Caraway with a thrilling 52-50 come from behind win over Rector, but the victory didn't come easy.

With the Lady Rebels trailing the Lady Cougars 50-49 with 18 seconds remaining in the game, sophomore guard Katey Campbell picked off a Rector inbounds pass and was immediately fouled. Campbell calmly sank both ends of the one and one to put Riverside up for good, 51-50. After a Lady Cougar miss and foul, fellow sophomore Morgan Emery went to the line with 10 seconds left and hit one of two double bonus free throws to push the lead to 52-50. Rector had two shots at sending the game into overtime, the last a 10-footer by Lauren Faulkner that bounced off the rim as the Lady Rebels survived to go 2-0 in league play.

Rector jumped to a 16-11 first period lead thanks to the hot shooting of Hannah Parsley, who scored nine points in the opening frame. Rector built their lead to 27-19 with 1:35 left in the first half on a three point bucket by Jordan Cornelison. The Lady Rebels battled back when Brianna Driver banked home a seven footer from the baseline and got a big three pointer from Kelsey Turner to cut the lead to 27-24 with 44 seconds to go. Cornelison gave the Lady Cougars a five point cushion at the half when she stuck in an offensive rebound with two seconds to play, putting Rector up by five, 29-24.

Rector held their lead until Driver drove the lane for two points and was fouled with 2:55 left in the third quarter. Driver's free throw completed the conventional three point play and the two teams were tied for the first time since early in the first period. Riverside's lone senior, Marisa Johnson, gave the Lady Rebels a 37-35 lead on a turnaround jumper at the 1:10 mark. Johnson stretched the Rebel lead to 39-35 with an offensive stick-back but committed her fourth foul as the clock ticked down to zero, ending the third quarter. The foul sent Amber Haynes to the line where she made both free throws to cut the Riverside lead to 39-37 entering the final frame.

Kelsey Turner hit her second trey of the night to give Riverside their biggest lead of the game, 44-39, with 5:56 left. Rector fought back to pull within one, 49-48, when Faulkner nailed a three pointer from the left wing at the 3:17 mark.

Clinging to the one point lead with under a minute to play, the Lady Rebels were called for an over and back violation, giving Rector the ball. Amber Haynes scored on an offensive rebound at the 35 second mark to put the Lady Cougars in front 50-49, setting up Campbell's last second heroics."It was a good win for us," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "Rector is a good basketball team. Rector has a great shot at making a long run in the tournament at the end of the year, so for us to come out and get a win -- that's a great win for us. Rector out-hustled us in the first half. They seemed to get every rebound. For us to go to the locker room only down five -- we felt like that was a plus for us. The second half we changed a few things. Kelsey Turner made a couple of big three's and Brianna Driver really played well. Marisa Johnson, Katey Campbell and Kassie Douglas bowed up and got some big rebounds. Next thing you know, we are back in the ball game. Katey came up big at the end of the game with that steal and those free throws. It was a great and exciting game. We are awfully young. Maybe we grew up a little tonight. We'll see."

"It is tough to get a win on the road in this conference," said Rector Coach Matt Rabjohn. "I told our kids after the game there are no cake walks in this league -- there never has been and never will be, especially when you come into someone else's gym. We had a five point lead at halftime and I told our girls Riverside would not lay down. Coach Rainwater does a good job. He has a good group of girls and they're all athletic, quick, tough to guard. We gave up the lead but we fought back. We turned it over on the out of bounds play and that was the difference, but we will learn from this. It's a long season. We have to get some post play out of our big girls inside in order to be effective. It was a hard fought game by both teams."

With the loss, Rector falls to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in league play.

Riverside was led by Brianna Driver who scored a game high 17 points. Johnson also hit double digits for the Lady Rebels with 12 points. Campbell finished with nine while Emery had seven and Turner netted six. Kassie Douglas scored one point and pulled down seven boards. Campbell tallied seven rebounds while Emery dished out four assists. The Rebels were 10-19 from the foul line.

Haynes led the Lady Cougars with 13 points while Cornelison and Parsley finished with 12 points each. Faulkner scored eight while Skye Shepard and Abbe McCarroll netted two points each. Rector was 8-12 from the foul stripe and hit six three pointers on the night.

In junior high action, Riverside pulled out a 43-38 victory behind Kyley Campbell's 16 points. Michelle Cobb also scored in double figures finishing with 12 points. Magan Wells and Courtney Thomas scored six points apiece while Ashley Calvert added three. The Lady Rebels connected on 17-29 free throws.

Riverside led 11-10 after the first period and 24-20 at the half. The Lady Rebels extended their lead to 36-26 after three quarters.

Rhoda Classen led Rector with 10 points. The Lady Cougars were 7-19 from the charity stripe.

Riverside traveled to Weiner on Thursday night and, despite a game high 25 points from sophomore Morgan Emery, dropped a 59-51 decision to the Lady Cardinals.

The two teams battled to a 25-25 halftime deadlock before Weiner took control in the third period, outscoring Riverside 16-9 to grab a 41-34 advantage heading into the final frame. The Lady Cardinals maintained their lead in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win, evening their record at 5-5 on the year.

Madison Craft led Weiner with 19 points while Maleigh Harris recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. McKenzie Pickle added 14 more.

Marisa Johnson joined Emery in double figures for Riverside scoring 11 points.

Riverside posted a 30-28 victory in junior girls action.

The Lady Rebels will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Monette to face Buffalo Island Central in a key 3AA Conference match-up.

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