Lady Rebels off to State Tournament with upset over top seeded Cedar Ridge
Riverside played the role of giant killer, knocking off top seeded Cedar Ridge 49-44 in the first round of the 2A Regional Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Sloan Hendrix. The win advanced the fourth seeded Lady Rebels to this week's state tournament at Marmaduke.
Riverside trailed the favored Lady Timberwolves throughout the contest, before battling back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the final quarter.
Cedar Ridge jumped out on top 13-6 after the first period and looked to have the game in control, leading 22-9 with 3:11 left in the half, behind freshman Liz Henderson who scored 10 second quarter points. Riverside began to inch its way back into the game late in the half when Anna Brickell converted a three point play, followed by back to back three's from Chelsea Nichols and Lauren Weaver to slice the Cedar Ridge lead to 26-18 at intermission.
Riverside outscored Cedar Ridge 11-6 in the third quarter to pull to within 32-29 entering the final frame. The Lady Rebels scored the last four points of the period on back to back buckets by Kenzley Wilson and Weaver.
Weaver began the four quarter with a nice spin move to slice the Cedar Ridge lead to one, before Nichols buried a three pointer from the corner to give the Lady Rebels the lead, 34-32. Riverside built a seven point cushion, thanks to a Wilson bucket and another three by Nichols, to take a 39-32 advantage before the Lady Timberwolves fought back to cut the lead to two with 3:18 to go.
Wilson's lay-up at the 2:52 mark gave Riverside a 45-41 lead. Haley Hix scored on an inbounds play to chop the Lady Rebel lead to two, and when freshman Christine Mathis nailed a three pointer at the 2:12 mark, it appeared Cedar Ridge had taken a 46-45 edge. Unfortunately for Cedar Ridge, the official scorekeeper put up just one point on the scoreboard and the mistake was never corrected, allowing Riverside to maintain its one point advantage, 45-44. The Lady Timberwolves were unable to score in the final 2:00, while Catlyn Sailor and Lauren Weaver hit free throws and Anna Brickell scored on a lay-in to set the final margin at 49-44.
"We came out slow and didn't play well early, but we were able to hang around and we finally gained momentum in the second half," said Riverside coach Jeff Womack. "We gave up nine offensive rebounds in the first half but only one in the second half, and I thought that was a big key. This is a big deal for us. No one picked us to make it to state, but these girls have worked extremely hard to make it happen. I told them it was possible and they believed it, and now they have made their dream come true. It's a great feeling for all of us."
Riverside was led by Wilson who scored 14 while Weaver had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Nichols tallied nine, Brickell scored eight, Milligan had four while Sailor added one point.
Mathis led Cedar Ridge with 13 points while Henderson finished with 12.