(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
Valley View forced 24 turnovers and converted eight fourth quarter free throws to defeat Riverside 29-24 in the junior high finals of the Gerald Jennings Tournament Saturday night at Armorel.
"Twenty four turnovers and 24 points is not very good," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "But we had a very good week and I was proud of our kids. We have had to replace four of our five starters from last year's team, so to finish second in the Gerald Jennings Tournament, that is really good."
Riverside rallied from a 6-5 deficit after the first period to take a 14-13 halftime edge, despite 15 turnovers in the first half alone. Kendra Staggs' driving lay-up at the 3:45 mark of the second period gave Riverside a 9-8 lead. Lauren Weaver followed with a pair of free throws to give the Lady Rebels what would be their largest lead of the night, 11-8, with 2:42 left before halftime.
Lady Blazer Tressa Jenkins drilled a three pointer to knot the score with 1:58 left, but the Rebels regained the lead on a free throw by Beth Anne Snyder at the 1:06 mark. After a bucket by Valley View's Brooke Bowers put the Lady Blazers on top, Riverside took a one point halftime advantage when Kyley Campbell sank both ends of a one and one from the free throw line.
Seventh grader Lauren Weaver, who led Riverside with nine points, put the Lady Rebels ahead 16-13 with a 12-footer to open the third period, but the Lady Blazers outscored Riverside 6-2 to take a 19-18 lead into the final frame.
The Lady Blazers made only one basket in the final period, a 15-footer by Bowers with 1:30 left in the game that gave Valley View a 23-19 cushion. The Lady Blazers hit six free throws in the last 1:12 of the game to seal the victory and take home the tournament championship.
Taylor Boness scored six points, Kendra Staggs netted five, Kyley Campbell netted two while Brittney Douglas and Beth Anne Snyder chipped in one point apiece. Riverside hit 9-15 free throws and connected on one three pointer.
Brooke Bowers led Valley View with 11 points. The Lady Blazers hit 10-17 free throws and made one trey.
"We beat a 3A team, a 5A team, but finally lost to a 4A team," said Rainwater. "We had a good week. The bottom line is turnovers and the fact that we just hit one of eight from the three point line. That's what did us in. But give credit to Valley View. They have a good team."
Riverside (10-3) began the week with a 47-39 victory over Manila in the first round of the tournament Monday night. Riverside bolted to a 17-2 first period lead and never looked back in defeating the Lady Lions.
Taylor Boness scored 14 points to lead the Lady Rebels while Kendra Staggs had 13 and Lauren Weaver added 10. Riverside, who hit 11-14 free throws, also got four points apiece from Kyley Campbell and Rebbekah Frayer while Teylor Hill added two points.
Brittany Craine led all scorers, pacing Manila with 17 points, while Peyton Joyner chipped in 15 more. Taylor Craig, Jordan Robertson and Morgan Earnest all scored two points apiece.
Riverside came away with a thrilling 44-43 triple overtime win in the semi-finals Thursday afternoon over Paragould. Lauren Weaver scored a game high 23 points for Riverside, who shot 54 free throws as a team while connecting on 24.
Paragould led 8-7 after the first period before Riverside tied the score 13-13 at the half. Paragould took a 23-18 lead into the final frame before the Lady Rebels rallied to send the game into overtime.
The Lady Rebels got six points from Taylor Boness while Kendra Staggs and Brittney Douglas scored five points apiece. Rebekkah Frayer tallied three while Kyley Campbell and Beth Anne Snyder chipped in one point apiece.
Jessica Greene led Paragould with 11 points while Natalie Smith added 10. The Lady Rams went 9-27 from the foul line.