Rebels fall in first round of State Tournament

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Senior Cole Winford (12) looks for an open man in Riverside's first round game of the Class 2A State Tournament against Eureka Springs.

Riverside turned in another gutsy performance, but it wasn't enough Tuesday afternoon in first round action of the 2A State Tournament at Cedar Ridge High School where the Rebels fell in a hard fought contest 52-46 to Eureka Springs.

The Rebels trailed 35-29 entering the fourth quarter but rallied to pull to within 37-33 on a three point play by Logan Meurer with 7:07 left to play. A Morgan Fletcher bucket with 6:30 left cut the lead to 37-35 before the Highlanders' Josh Premeau answered with a driving lay-in to push the margin back to four.

Cole Winford, playing in his last game as a Rebel, scored from the inside to pull the Rebels to within 39-37 with 6:00 to go, but Highlander Nick Bower pushed the lead to 41-37 with a strong move to the basket at the 5:47 mark. Premeau gave Eureka Springs a six point lead, 43-37, with a pair of free throws with 4:08 left, but the Rebels rallied again on another Fletcher basket and a three pointer by Caleb Waugh with 3:14 remaining, pulling Riverside to within 45-42.

Riverside senior Morgan Fletcher (15) is sandwiched between two Eureka Springs players as he shoots for two points in the first round of the Class 2A State Tournament Tuesday night at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

Premeau scored again with an inside move for a 47-42 lead with 1:42 left, and the Rebels could never get any closer the rest of the way as the Highlanders connected on five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Eureka Springs took a 13-12 lead after a see-saw first quarter and moved ahead by four, 23-19, at the half. The Highlanders stretched their advantage to 35-29 after the third quarter, despite the efforts of Riverside's Alteeno Sain, who scored eight of his team high 16 points in the third period.

Rebel Logan Meurer (21) stops and eyes the basket in first round action of the Class 2A State Tournament at Cedar Ridge High School.

Sain led the Rebels with 16 points while Winford finished with 10. Meurer had nine, Fletcher tallied six while Waugh chipped in five for the Rebels. Riverside connected on just four of 12 foul shots and hit one three pointer. The Rebels committed 13 turnovers on the day.

Bower led Eureka Springs with 17 points while Premeau added 16 more. Briar Sebby scored 10 points for the Highlanders. Eureka Springs, the number one seed from the West, hit 14-21 free throws and drained four three pointers. The Highlanders turned the ball over 11 times.

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