Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside knew they had a big task ahead of them last week with games against Buffalo Island Central and Rector. The Lady Rebels played host to their arch-rivals BIC Tuesday night at Caraway but fell victim to a red hot Lady Mustang squad, dropping a 67-53 decision before bouncing back to pick up a huge road win Friday night at Rector 62-53.
Riverside got off to a fast start against the Lady Mustangs, jumping out to a 6-0 lead, but BIC quickly took control, closing the quarter with a 19-5 run to take a 19-11 lead after the first stanza. The Lady Rebels fought back to close to within 33-28 at the half, but watched BIC outscore Riverside 15-5 in the third period to take a commanding 48-33 lead into the final frame on their way to their 18th victory against just five defeats while improving to a league leading 8-1 in 2A-3 conference play.
Jessica Shepard poured in 24 points while Sammi Fowler and Kasey Garrett added 17 and 14 points respectively to spark the Mustangs to the win. Lauryn Smith pitched in six points while Ashley Tate scored four and Jordan Miller added two. BIC finished with an impressive 19-23 performance from the foul line, including a perfect 8-8 from Shepard.
Riverside was led by Marisa Johnson who scored 20 points while Katey Campbell added 12 more. Kelsey Turner drilled three treys and finished with nine points while Morgan Emery added eight. Brianna Driver was held to only three points on the night with Kassie Douglas finished with one. Riverside made only 10-22 from the foul line and hit five three pointers.
In the junior high game, Riverside raced past BIC 38-23 behind Michelle Cobb's 11 points. Courtney Thomas had nine points while a trio of players finished with five, including Kyley Campbell, Kendra Staggs and Magan Wells. Taylor Boness added three points. Riverside hit 18-35 from the free throw line and had two three pointers.
The Lady Rebels led 12-4 after the first period, 21-12 at the half, and 28-18 after three quarters.
BIC was led by Shelby Qualls who had six points while Holly Dempsey and Jenna Pike added four points apiece. Rhonda Garrett scored three points while Taylor Owens, Jamie Harris, and Ashley Jines netted two points each. The Lady Mustangs shot only seven free throws, making five.
The Lady Mustangs will play a pair of conference match-ups next week, traveling to Cherry Valley to take on Cross County on Tuesday night before returning to Monette for a Friday night contest with the Marked Tree Lady Indians.
Free throws proved to be the difference in Riverside's win over Rector as the Lady Rebels shot a sizzling 25-32 from the foul stripe while the Lady Cougars were a miserable 9-28 from the charity stripe in Friday night's contest.
The Lady Rebels held a 10-9 lead after the opening quarter and stretched their advantage to 29-25 at the half, thanks to a three pointer at the buzzer by point guard Kailey Holt.
Riverside pushed their advantage to as many as 13 in the third quarter when Marisa Johnson, who finished with a game high 16 points, scored an inside bucket with 52 seconds left in the period. But the Lady Cougars fought back by hitting back to back treys by Amber Haynes and Jordan Cornelison to close out the quarter to pull within 45-38 entering the final frame.
Riverside built their lead to 13 once again late in the fourth quarter behind the excellent free throw shooting of Holt, who nailed 8-8 in the final quarter. The Lady Rebels shot a red hot 15-18 from the free throw line in the final quarter to seal the win, while Rector struggled at the line, making just 5-14 foul shots in the final quarter.
Brianna Driver finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds while Kailey Holt also hit double digits, scoring 11 points. Katey Campbell tallied eight points, Kelsey Turner netted seven while Morgan Emery finished with five points to round out the Lady Rebel attack.
Amber Haynes led all scorers as she finished with 18 points for the Lady Cougars.
Riverside improves to 19-6 overall and 8-2 in 2A-3 conference play.
In junior high action, Riverside rallied for a 37-35 win over Rector. Ashley Calvert, Michelle Cobb and Courtney Thomas all scored nine points to lead the Lady Rebels. Kyley Campbell had five, Taylor Boness scored three while Magan Wells added two. Riverside trailed 11-9 after the first period, 20-16 at the half and 29-28 entering the final period before rallying for the victory.
The Lady Rebels will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Paragould to face Crowley's Ridge Academy before returning home to take on Turrell in another conference match-up Friday night at Lake City.