Lady Rebels earn state tournament berth with 62-49 win over Salem

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Riverside's Brittany Sain flies through the air for two points in the finals of the 2A North Regional Tournament at Sloan Hendrix.

Riverside canned three consecutive third quarter triples to break open a close game and went on to defeat Salem 62-49, earning a berth in the 2A State Basketball Tournament this week at Marmaduke.

The Lady Rebels trailed 28-25 when sophomore Haven Robertson completed a three point play to tie the contest 28-all midway through the third quarter. Brittany Sain followed with a three pointer to put Riverside on top 31-28 at the 5:11 mark. Bailey Fisher nailed a trey from the top of the key to push the Lady Rebel advantage to six before Sain buried another three from the left corner, and suddenly, Riverside owned a 37-29 lead. The Lady Rebels closed the quarter with a 42-31 advantage.

Trailing by double digits in the final frame, the Lady Greyhounds elected to foul, sending Riverside to the charity stripe 24 times, where the Lady Rebels knocked down 20 attempts. Riverside's hot free throw shooting was highlighted by Hattie Milligan's 11-12 fourth quarter performance from the line, putting the game out of reach.

Riverside held a slim 10-9 edge after the first period, using a balanced attack with five players in the scoring column. Salem pulled ahead early in the second stanza, taking a 15-10 lead on buckets by Lindsey Smith and Quincy Humphries. The Lady Rebels answered when Fisher sandwiched a pair of three pointers around a Sain trey to go ahead 19-15 at the 4:19 mark. Salem battled back to square the game 22-22 before grabbing a 24-23 halftime edge on a pair of free throws by Hanna Ward.

Riverside put three players in double figures, led by Sain's game high 20 points. Milligan finished with 18 while Fisher pitched in 15. Robertson scored eight before fouling out in the third quarter while Carson Smith added one point. The Lady Rebels connected on 25-31 foul shots, an 80 percent clip. Riverside drained seven three pointers.

Smith and Kaylea Walling led Salem with 12 points each while Ward added 11. The Lady Greyhounds made 16-26 foul shots and hit three triples on the night.

"This was a big win for our program," said Riverside Coach Spencer Hoffman. "We really played well tonight. We did a great job at the free throw line. I thought we got a big spark in the third quarter when Brittany and Bailey knocked down those three pointers after Haven fouled out. That really gave us a lift. I am really proud of the girls. It was a great win."

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