Osceola outlasts Lady Rebels 58-55 in overtime
Riverside and Osceola squared off for the third time this season, each having a win on the other's home floor. The two teams did battle once again in Friday night's 3A-3 District Tournament finals, and in the end, the host Lady Seminoles came away with a thrilling 58-55 overtime victory before a raucous, packed house at Osceola.
Riverside got off to a fast start, thanks to the three-pointer. Haven Robertson knocked down a pair of bombs while Brittany Sain added another. When Robertson converted a conventional three-point play at the 2:21 mark of the opening period, the Lady Rebels held a 14-6 lead. But Osceola came roaring back, scoring the last eight points of the stanza to knot the score at 14-all.
The second quarter belonged to the Lady Seminoles, as they outscored Riverside 20-11 to take a 34-25 halftime lead. Akeyla Barksdale sparked Osceola's surge, scoring 10 second period points.
Riverside put together a third quarter rally that saw the Lady Rebels slice the Osceola lead down to two, 42-40, entering the final frame.
The Lady Rebels squared things when Hattie Milligan began the fourth quarter by laying in the tying bucket off the glass. Robertson then put Riverside on top, 44-42, with a spinning move in the lane at the 6:54 mark. Jamya Harris' 10-foot baseline jumper tied things once more, but Robertson scored again on a drive to the hole at the 6:07 mark to put Riverside back on top, 46-44. The two teams played scoreless ball over the next two minutes before Milligan's driving lay-up at the 4:08 mark gave Riverside a 48-44 advantage.
Playing with four fouls, Krystan Vornes hit a fade away jumper in the lane and was fouled. The 6'2" senior dropped in the "and one" and suddenly the Lady Seminoles were within a single point, 48-47, with 3:40 left on the clock. Robertson scored what would be Riverside's last bucket in regulation with an offensive rebound stick-back with 2:47 left, pushing the Rebel lead to 50-47.
After an empty possession from both teams, Vornes picked off a Lady Rebel pass and was fouled, attempting to shoot. The southpaw made one of two foul shots to trim the Riverside lead to 50-48 with 1:13 showing on the clock. Robertson looked to have a breakaway bucket on the other end, but went tumbling out of bounds, appearing to have been fouled by Vornes, which would have been Vornes' fifth. But the call was overruled, and a traveling violation was instead whistled on Robertson, giving the ball back to the Lady Seminoles. Osceola took full advantage when Vornes put in a missed shot with 13 seconds left, tying the game 50-50.
Riverside called timeout to set up one last play in an effort to hit the game winner, but was unable to get a shot off before the final horn sounded, ending regulation.
A pair of Briley Douglas free throws gave the Lady Rebels their only lead in overtime, 52-50. Barksdale evened things up with an inside bucket before Imani Fletcher drilled Osceola's only three-pointer of the night with two minutes left, giving the Lady Seminoles a 55-52 lead. A Rondaishia McNeal free throw gave Osceola a two-possession lead, 56-52. Milligan closed the gap to two points with a nifty drive to the bucket at the 1:22 mark. The Lady Rebels got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead with a three pointer when Whitney Wagganor was fouled with 42 ticks left on the clock. Wagganor made the first foul shot, but misfired on the second, leaving the 'Noles up by a point, 56-55. Fletcher quickly sprinted down the floor and hit a pullup jumper to push the lead to 58-55 at the 38 second mark. Riverside had a chance for a game tying three, but was unable to get a shot off down the stretch as the Lady Seminoles celebrated with their fans at midcourt.
Barksdale led Osceola with 20 points while Vornes added 16. The Lady Seminoles made 15-23 free throws and hit one three-pointer.
Robertson pumped in a game high 28 points to lead the Lady Rebels. Milligan scored eight while Sain tallied five before fouling out in the third quarter. Wagganor and Lotti Hoffman contributed four points apiece while Briley Douglas pitched in three. Osceola limited high scoring Bailey Fisher to just three points. Riverside sank 11-17 foul shots and canned three treys.
Semifinals: Riverside 77, Corning 55
Riverside advanced to the finals by crushing Corning 77-55 in Thursday night's semifinals. The Lady Rebels raced to a 20-5 lead to begin the game and held a 22-8 advantage after the first break. Corning mounted a comeback in the second stanza and sliced the lead to single digits, 39-30, at the half. Riverside caught fire from beyond the three-point arc in the third quarter, drilling four triples, to grab a 55-41 advantage heading into the final frame. Fisher, who canned two treys in the third quarter, buried three more in the last stanza as the Lady Rebels pulled away for the win.
Fisher nailed seven three pointers on the night and finished with a game high 23 points to lead Riverside. Robertson pumped in 21 while Douglas scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards. Milligan and Wagganor netted five points apiece, Hoffman had three while Sain and Mallory Felton chipped in two points each. Riverside hit an impressive 30-33 free throw attempts and knocked down eight treys.
Freshman Hannah Blankenship paced the Lady Bobcats with 21 points, all coming on three pointers. Caitlyn Carpenter scored 13 while Riverside held Corning's leading scorer, Kaytie Manatt to just nine points. The Lady Bobcats were 15-24 from the foul stripe while sinking eight treys.