Lady Rebels roll over defending state champion Hoxie 76-61

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Lady Rebel sophomore Grace Ann Puckett weaves around a Hoxie defender.  The Lady Rebels rolled past the defending state champion Lady Mustangs 76-61 Monday night at Hoxie.

Riverside’s goal is to accomplish what Hoxie did a year ago when the Lady Mustangs won the Class 3A state title. The Lady Rebels took a step in that direction Monday night by defeating the defending state champions 76-61 at Hoxie.

Riverside, 9-0 on the season, led from start to finish in handing Hoxie its fourth defeat of the year. The Lady Rebels led 15-13 after the first period, thanks to three treys, one each by Bailey Fisher, Haven Robertson and sophomore Grace Ann Puckett. The Lady Mustangs stayed close by dropping in 7-8 free throw attempts.

Riverside threatened to run away from Hoxie in the second stanza and led 24-15 when Robertson nailed in a three-point bomb at the 6:05 mark. But a pair of Cassidy Clayton buckets sliced the Rebel lead to five. Fisher and Lotti Hoffman drilled back to back treys to push the lead back to nine, before Hoxie closed to within 34-28 at intermission, scoring the last three points of the half at the foul line.

Riverside's Brittney Sain drives for two in senior girls basketball action last week at Hoxie.

Riverside began to pull away in the third quarter when Fisher banged home consecutive triples. The Lady Rebels stretched their lead to 17 points, 53-36, as Puckett scored five straight points with 3:18 left in the period. But Hoxie finished the frame outscoring Riverside 9-2 to pull to within 55-45 entering the fourth quarter.

The Lady Rebels came out strong in the final period. Robertson scored from the inside before Carson Smith connected on a pair of buckets as Riverside increased their lead to 61-46. Robertson drained a trey, and followed with a slicing drive through the lane, giving the Lady Rebels their biggest lead of the night, 69-48 with 4:02 left. The Lady Rebel bench finished off the game while keeping their record perfect on the season.

Riverside put three players in double figures, led by Robertson’s 19 points. Fisher drained four three pointers and finished with 15 while Puckett pitched in 14. Whitney Wagganor scored eight, Smith had seven, Brittney Sain tallied four while Hoffman netted three. Mallory Felton, Briley Douglas and Lexi Hall all chipped in two points apiece. The Lady Rebels made 15-23 free throws and nailed 11 three pointers.

Clayton topped Hoxie with 22 points while Kaitlin Henson added 14. The Lady Mustangs went to the foul line 31 times, and made good on 25 attempts. Hoxie hit four three pointers.

The Lady Rebels won the turnover battle, forcing Hoxie into 21 miscues, while Riverside committed just 10 turnovers.

“It was a really good win for us,” said Riverside Coach Spencer Hoffman. “It’s early, and Hoxie is going to get better. We just have to continue to work. Our philosophy is that our 10 has to be better than their five, and I thought tonight, we were. I thought our pressure got to them and we wore them down. Hopefully this is something we can build off of and continue to get better.”

In junior high action, Hoxie raced past Riverside 50-22. Anna Meurer led the Lady Rebels with 10 points. Cailey Qualls scored seven, Alexis Courtney tallied four while Beaner Hoffman added one point.

The Lady Rebels return to play Monday night with a road trip to Manila before closing the week Thursday at Osceola.

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