Riverside's Lady Rebels saw its season come to a disappointing end at the hands of Walnut Ridge Tuesday night in the first round of the 2A-3 District Tournament at Caraway. The Lady Bobcats squeaked out a 46-44 decision, ending Riverside's hopes of advancing to the regional tournament.
A pair of free throws by Riverside's Bekah Frayer with 5:55 left in the game tied the score at 35-35 before Walnut Ridge went on a 6-1 run to take a 41-36 lead with 4:34 to go.
The Lady Rebels fought back and tied the game 42-42 at the 2:03 mark on two free throws by senior Kyley Campbell. Daniel Vaughn put the Lady Bobcats back on top, 44-42 with 1:46 left, before Campbell tied the game once again with two more foul shots at the 33 second mark.
Walnut Ridge worked the ball for the last shot and found Vaughn inside the lane for the game winning basket with only four seconds remaining, giving the Lady Bobcats the two point win and ending Riverside's season.
Ashley Baker led Walnut Ridge with 14 points while Vaughn added 13 more. Walnut Ridge hit only six of 18 foul shots, giving Riverside a chance to pull out the win. The Lady Bobcats finished with four three pointers on the night.
Meagan Goza finished her Lady Rebel career with a game high 18 points while fellow senior Kyley Campbell scored 11. Frayer also hit double digits with 10 points. Tara Campbell scored three points while senior Alyssia Thibodeaux added two. Riverside hit 17-23 foul shots and connected on one three pointer.
"I hate to end the season like that, especially in our own gym," said Riverside Coach Carrie Redman. "Walnut Ridge really came to play, but I am really proud of our young ladies and what they have accomplished this year. We have three seniors. Kyley Campbell is a great kid who has really worked her tail off. She has a great personality and was one of our team captains, a good leader both on and off the floor. She helped develop the team to where it is now. Meagan Goza will be moving on to William Baptist College, so her last game is not here tonight. I am excited for her. She has spent a lot of hours in the gym and I am glad she has accomplished her goal to play college ball. She is just a great kid and she has been a pleasure to coach the past two years. Alyssia Thibodeaux is also a great kid. She's great in the classroom and works hard on and off the court. She is a fighter. All three seniors have great personalities and I am going to miss that. There is never a dull moment with them. They are always going to make you laugh. They have been a great bunch."
"It hurts, we just didn't play our game early," Goza said. "It's disappointing to lose, but I was proud of the way we fought back at the end. Walnut Ridge really came to play tonight. They were ready. On a personal side, moving to Riverside was the best thing I ever did. Coach Redman (Carrie) really helped me and I owe her a lot. Whether we won, lost, whatever, she was there to help me. My teammates really helped me get to where I am, and I appreciate that and I want them to know that."
"We just didn't seem ready to play tonight," senior Kyley Campbell said. "Our defense wasn't what it should have been and we didn't block out the way we needed to."
Riverside placed two players on the All-Conference team, Meagan Goza and Kyley Campbell.