Valley View holds off Lady Rebels 66-50 in first round of NEA Tournament
Eleventh seeded Riverside went into the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament as a decided underdog to sixth seeded Valley View Friday afternoon, but the Lady Rebels put a scare into the favored Blazers before finally succumbing 66-50 in first round action.
Riverside jumped to a 13-10 lead after the opening quarter behind the scoring of sophomore Anna Brickell, who netted eight of her 13 points in the first period. The Lady Rebels extended their advantage to 17-10 as Brickell and senior Rebekah Frayer started the second quarter with back to back buckets.
Valley View fought back and went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good, 21-17, with 3:35 left in the half. Darah Merritt's tray at the 4:06 mark put the Lady Blazers ahead by two before Carly Nichols pushed Valley View's advantage to four. Kenzley Wilson pulled Riverside back to within 21-19 at the 3:20 mark before the two teams swapped buckets to end the half with the Blazers up 23-21.
Valley View came out hot in the third quarter and built as much as a 14 point lead, 43-29, with 2:57 left in the period. Nichols led the Blazer charge with three straight baskets on her way to a 10 point quarter. The Lady Rebels fought back and pulled to within 10 on a pair of late baskets by Wilson and Brickell to cut the margin to 45-35 entering the final frame.
Riverside could never cut the lead under 10 in the final period as the Lady Blazers pulled away for the 16 point win.
Nichols and Ashleigh Guthrie led Valley View with 12 points apiece.
Wilson scored a game high 18 points to lead Riverside. Brickell scored 13 while Frayer netted 10. Lindsey Bennett tallied six while Tara Campbell added three points.