Nettleton outmuscles Lady Rebels to take home Gerald Jennings title
Playing two strong 5A teams on consecutive nights proved too much for Riverside, as the Lady Rebels came up short in their bid to capture the Gerald Jennings Invitational Tournament title Saturday night at Gosnell.
The Lady Rebels fell behind early to Nettleton, and dropped a 67-33 decision to the Lady Raiders in the championship game.
Ali Tucker scored 16 of her game high 22 points in the opening quarter, leading the deeper and more physical Lady Raiders to a 22-10 advantage after the first period. Tucker scored her team's final 11 points of the stanza, capping off her own 11-0 run by drilling a three point bomb with just five seconds left in the quarter. Riverside tried to hang in, knocking down a pair of threes during the period, one each by Chelsea Nichols and freshman Haven Robertson.
Tucker's three pointer midway through the second quarter, followed by a Calia Crippen free throw, pushed the Nettleton advantage to 30-15. The Lady Rebels clawed their way back when Nichols drained her second trey of the game, followed by a Skylar Kauke lay-in, slicing the Lady Raider lead to 32-22 at intermission.
Nettleton, using their superior depth, began to wear down the Lady Rebels in the third quarter, outscoring Riverside 22-7 to take a commanding 54-29 lead heading into the final frame. Katerra Sharp scored 11 of her 18 points during the period to lead the Lady Raider third period scoring barrage. The fourth quarter was anticlimactic, with both teams emptying their benches.
Nichols and Natalie Milligan led Riverside with nine points apiece while Robertson added eight. Kauke scored four, Gattlin Hale netted two while Cassidy Hellenthal chipped in one point. Riverside connected on four of seven foul shots and hit five three pointers. The Lady Rebels committed 23 turnovers on the night.
Riverside began the tournament with a 65-43 victory over Marked Tree Tuesday night. The Lady Rebels placed four players in double digits, led by Kauke's 16 point performance. Robertson scored 13, Nichols pitched in 12, all on three pointers, while Ashlyn Snyder added 10. Hattie Milligan tallied six points and dished out eight assists, Natalie Milligan scored four, Cassidy Hellenthal chipped in three while Hale tallied one point.
Dez Reel led Marked Tree with 12 while Lexi Perry added nine.
Riverside held a slim 11-10 lead after the opening quarter and took a 25-24 edge into the dressing room at the half. Riverside stretched its advantage to 47-35 after three quarters.
The Lady Rebels advanced to the finals with a thrilling 65-61 victory over Valley View Friday night. The Lady Blazers took a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and held a 31-25 advantage at the half. Valley View took a 43-37 lead into the fourth quarter, before Riverside rallied to tie the game at 56-56 at the end of regulation. Riverside outscored the Lady Blazers 9-5 in the extra period to advance to the finals.
Kauke led Riverside, topping all scorers with 24 points. Nichols netted 12 points on four three pointers. Natalie Milligan scored nine, Hale, Robertson and Hattie Milligan chipped in six points apiece while Snyder added two. Riverside hit 13-22 free throws and drained eight three pointers.
Ashleigh Guthrie led Valley View with 17 points while Harleigh Jones added 14. The Lady Blazers made 16-26 foul shots and hit three treys.
Riverside traveled to Rector Monday night, dropping a 52-47 decision in 2A-3 conference play. The Lady Cougars took a 13-12 edge after the opening quarter before outscoring Riverside 14-3 in the second period to stretch their lead to 27-15 at the half. Rector took a 40-24 advantage into the final frame.
Harmony Brown led Rector with 16 points. Matison Dean scored 13 while Marla Crancer added a double-double, scoring 10 points while grabbing 10 boards. Crancer also dished out six assists on the night.
Riverside was led by Robertson's 11 points. Nichols scored nine, Kauke had seven while Hattie Milligan, Hale and Snyder all added six points apiece. Natalie Milligan chipped in two points.
Riverside (8-5, 1-2 2A-3) will travel to Earle Monday night for a conference matchup against the Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Rebels will host Marked Tree Thursday night at Lake City.