Town Crier Sports Staff
It was a difficult second round draw for the Riverside Lady Rebels in the 61st annual NEA Invitational Tournament Wednesday night, as the girls came face-to-face with classic rival, conference foe and top seed, the BIC Lady Mustangs. Riverside came out on the short end of the contest, falling 57-37 en route to being eliminated from the tourney.
The Lady Rebs fell behind early and were unable to battle back, trailing throughout: 12-4; 24-13 and 38-24.
Missed opportunities came back to haunt Riverside. Despite mounting just four points in the first frame, both buckets coming from junior Brianna Driver in the post, the Lady Rebels had chances to cut into the BIC lead in the second quarter. However, the squad connected on just one of five free throw attempts in the second frame, while sinking only eight of seventeen in the contest. A potential six point halftime deficit was instead a 12 point disadvantage. In contrast, Buffalo Island buried 16 of 20 free throws.
"We let them get too much of a lead early and put ourselves into a position where we had to play from behind," Riverside coach Greg Rainwater said. "They're a good team. They're not going to give you a lot of chances to get back into the game. When we had opportunities to come back, we weren't able to get it done. We've got to make our free throws in any situation, especially when we're behind like that."
Katey Campbell finished with 12 points, leading the Lady Rebs. Driver added 10 in the loss. Other Riverside scorers were Morgan Emery 7, Michelle Cobb 2, Kassie Douglas 2 and Kailey Holt 1.
BIC was led by a pair of double-doubles from Sammi Fowler, 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Jessica Shepard, 11 points and 11 boards.
First round win over Maynard
Riverside advanced to the second round with a 66-52 win over Maynard last Friday.
The Lady Rebs trailed much of the first, but the momentum swung in their favor at the end of the opening frame, as Emery cashed in a buzzer-beating three-pointer to tie the game up at 17-17 going into the second quarter. Riverside began the sequential period with a 7-0 run, setting the stage for the win.
Driver netted a double-double, scoring a game-high 26 while ripping down 10 rebounds. Campbell and Emery also scored in double figures, finishing with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Also scoring for Riverside were Holt 7, Holly Dudley 5, Cobb 3 and Christy Ward 2.
Sarah Blackwell led Maynard with 24 points.