Free throws lift streaking Lady Rebels past EPC
Lauren Weaver hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 1:29 of the fourth quarter to help Riverside hold off East Poinsett County 58-51 in 2A-3 conference senior girls basketball action Thursday night at Lepanto.
Weaver poured in a game high 33 points as the Lady Rebels (15-12, 10-6 2A-3) captured their seventh straight victory. Weaver connected on 16-17 free throws on the night, including 11-12 in the final period alone. Anna Brickell also had a big night for Riverside, recording a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards.
The Lady Warriors jumped to a 9-2 lead in the first 4:00 of the game, behind the scoring tandem of Alicia Ross and Terria Young. But Riverside battled back to pull within one point, despite Lady Rebel Kenzley Wilson picking up three early fouls. The first quarter ended with the Lady Warriors holding a 13-10 lead.
Riverside fought back to take its first lead of the game on back to back three pointers by Brickell. Weaver followed with a conventional three point play and a long range bomb of her own as the Lady Rebels took a 24-21 edge with 3:58 left in the half. Riverside held a 28-24 advantage heading into intermission.
Ross kept the Lady Warriors in the game, scoring 11 of her team's 13 points in the third quarter, but it was Brickell's bucket just before the buzzer sounded that gave Riverside a 39-37 lead heading into the final frame.
Ross continued her scoring spree with three straight baskets, giving the Lady Warriors a 43-41 edge with 6:20 left in the game. Natalie Milligan put Riverside back on top with an offensive rebound, 44-43 at the 5:09 mark. Back to back buckets by EPC gave the Lady Warriors a 47-44 lead at the 3:45 mark, but Riverside took the lead for good when junior Catlyn Sailor threw in an off balance shot, giving the Lady Rebels a one point edge with 1:58 left. Sailor was fouled on the play and missed the free throw but Weaver grabbed the rebound and scored in heavy traffic, giving the Lady Rebels a 50-47 advantage. Weaver's free throws in the final 1:30 secured the Lady Rebel win.
"Lauren hit some key free throws down the stretch," said Lady Rebel Coach Jeff Womack. "I think she hit something like 16-17 on the night. I was worried early when Kenzley got in foul trouble. I think she only played about nine minutes the whole game, but the rest of the team really picked us up. Anna had a big night and Catlyn came up with a huge offensive stick back in the fourth quarter. We are finally getting everyone healthy and we are playing good ball right now. This was a big win for us on the road against a good team."
Milligan finished with seven points while Wilson and Sailor added two points apiece to round out the Lady Rebel scoring. Riverside connected on 21-26 foul shots and hit three treys.
Ross paced the Lady Warriors with 29 points while Young added 15 more. EPC hit six of 12 free throws and made five treys.
Riverside began the week with a 65-29 thrashing of Cross County Tuesday night at Lake City. Wilson led the Lady Rebels with 19 points while Weaver chipped in 13 more. Sailor, Gattlin Hale and Ashlyn Snyder scored seven points apiece. Chelsea Nichols tallied six while Milligan and Kaitlyn Hale added three points apiece.
Sarah White led the Lady Thunderbirds with 11 points.
Riverside will return to action Monday night when they travel to Manila to take on the Lady Lions. The Lady Rebels will close out the regular season with a Thursday night trip to Brookland.
In junior high action, Riverside (14-13, 8-7 2A-3) knocked off EPC 31-26 Thursday night after edging Cross County 25-24 Monday night at Lake City.
The Lady Rebels fell behind EPC 6-5 early before rallying to tie the game 14-14 at intermission. Riverside held a slim 23-22 edge after three quarters of play.
Seventh grader Haven Robertson led Riverside with 11 points, including three treys. Hattie Milligan, also a seventh grader, had seven points while Madison Black added six. Britany Kelems scored four and Hannah Fisher added three.
Bailey Constance led the Lady Warriors with nine points.
Hattie Milligan's free throws with four seconds remaining lifted the Lady Rebels past Cross County. Roberson paced Riverside with 10 points, Kelems added seven while Milligan chipped in six. Black rounded out the Lady Rebel attack with two points.
Tara King led the Lady Thunderbirds with 10 points.
The junior Lady Rebels will open 2A-3 district tournament action Tuesday night. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.