Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside built an 18 point first half lead, but watched Caddo Hills storm back in the fourth quarter to hand the Lady Rebels a devastating and shocking 49-48 defeat in the first round of the 2A State Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon at Jessieville.
Riverside had a chance to put the game away in the fourth quarter from the free throw line, but could only hit 9-21 attempts, allowing the Lady Indians to charge back and pull out the victory.
Caddo Hills started their winning rally on a lay-up by Samantha Davis, and after the Lady Rebels missed the front end of three straight one and one attempts, cut the margin to
40-36 with 3:34 left in the game. Junior guard Ashley Deaton highlighted the Lady Indian run, scoring eight straight points, including back to back treys.
Riverside's Katey Campbell connected on six straight free throws to help the Lady Rebels build a 46-38 lead with 1:32 left, and Rebel fans breathed a sigh of relief. But Caddo Hills had one last spurt left, which proved to be fatal for Riverside.
Davis began Caddo Hills' last second heroics with an offensive stickback as the Lady Indians pulled within 46-40. Riverside junior Holly Dudley missed a pair of free throws at the 1:18 mark, and the Lady Indians struck again on a bucket by sophomore Chelsea Shelton with 1:02 to go. A free throw by Campbell pushed the Rebel lead to 47-42, but Davis connected on both ends of the double bonus at the 45 second mark to make the score 47-44 and a one possession game. Senior Kelsey Turner went to the free throw line with 36 seconds to go, but failed to convert, giving Caddo Hills a chance to pull even closer, which the Lady Indians did on a lay-in by Kara Counts at the 27 second mark, cutting the Lady Rebel lead to 47-46.
A Riverside turnover gave Caddo Hills the ball back with 19.9 seconds remaining, and senior guard Brittany Graves, who had been held scoreless the entire game, connected on a three pointer from the left wing, giving the Lady Indians a 49-47 lead with 16 seconds left to play.
Campbell went to the foul line with 10 seconds to go, but connected on just 1-2 foul shots, leaving the Lady Rebels with a 49-48 deficit. Riverside immediately fouled on Caddo Hills next possession, sending Shelton to the line with 8.9 seconds left. The sophomore missed both free throws, giving Riverside one last chance, but Campbell's running seven-footer just before the final buzzer fell short, sending Lady Indian fans into bedlam and ending Riverside's season.
"It came down to free throws, which is the easiest thing to work on, but we just didn't hit them," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "You can't miss that many free throws and expect to be a good team. We just missed too many free throws, but we still should have won the game. The girl who hit the three pointer is their best shooter, and we just lost her on the inbounds play. We had a good year. We finished 23-13 and made it to the state tournament for the second straight year. But this is very disappointing."
Turner drilled three consecutive treys to close the first quarter, breaking an 8-8 tie to give Riverside a 17-8 advantage entering the second stanza.
The Lady Rebels continued to build their lead, outscoring Caddo Hills 11-2 in the second period, holding the Lady Indians without a field goal to take a 28-10 lead into the dressing room at the half.
The two teams traded buckets to open the third period, but Caddo Hills began their comeback by turning to a full court press, causing several Riverside turnovers. Samantha Davis started the rally with a three pointer. Karmen Cooksey and Davis scored on back to back buckets following Riverside turnovers to pull Caddo Hills to within
30-19 at the 4:44 mark. Davis came away with a steal and drove for two more to slice the margin to single digits, 30-21.
Riverside broke the Indian run, scoring the game's next six points, including a pair of buckets from junior forward Brianna Driver, giving the Lady Rebels a 36-21 lead at the 2:03 mark. But Caddo Hills regrouped and closed the quarter with a 5-0 run, including a critical three point play by senior Kara Counts with just five seconds left in the quarter, cutting the Lady Rebel lead to 36-26 entering the final frame.
Riverside was led in scoring by Campbell, who finished with 16 points. Turner had 12, all on three pointers, while Driver completed the night with 10 points. Morgan Emery scored six while Kassie Douglas added four. Riverside hit just 11-24 from the foul line and finished 5-9 from beyond the three point line.
Davis led all scorers, pacing Caddo Hills with 19 points. The Lady Indians finished the night with four treys and made 9-18 from the foul stripe.