Lady Rebels capture conference title Riverside finishes league play with perfect 16-0 mark

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Riverside senior Hattie Milligan looks down court while being guarded by Lady Bearcat Kalifa Ford Friday night at Bearcat Gymnasium.

Riverside clinched the 4A/3A-4 Conference championship with a hard fought 57-53 road victory Friday night at Brookland. The victory boosted the Lady Rebelsí record to 31-1 overall and a perfect 16-0 in league play.

Riverside led 10-7 at the 2:52 mark of the first quarter, but Kalifa Ford drained back to back treys to put the Lady Bearcats on top, 13-10. Mallorie Lovrien pitched in a bucket before Shelby Lawrence buried a three pointer to give Brookland an 18-10 lead after the first break.

Riverside fought back in the second quarter behind senior Haven Robertson, who scored nine points during the frame. Robertsonís three-point play and a triple from beyond the arc closed the Rebel deficit to 19-16. Brookland led by four points until Robertson banged home a three pointer with 40 seconds left in the half to close the Bearcat advantage to 30-29. A pair of Hattie Milligan free throws at the three second mark gave Riverside a slim 31-30 halftime edge.

Riverside took command in the third quarter when junior Bailey Fisher canned a pair of long three pointers to push the Lady Rebel lead to 41-34. When Robertson knocked down a triple at the 2:12 mark, Riverside had a double-digit advantage, 46-36. Hannah Lovrien drilled a trey as time expired, ending the third period with Riverside ahead, 46-39.

The Lady Rebels maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter and closed the regular season with a perfect conference mark.

Robertson topped Riverside with a game high 18 points. Brittney Sain scored 12 while Lotti Hoffman dropped in 10. Fisher and Whitney Wagganor contributed six points apiece, Grace Ann Puckett tallied three while Milligan added two points. Riverside was near perfect from the foul stripe, knocking down 15-17 attempts while finishing with five three pointers.

Ford paced the Lady Bearcats with 17 points while Hannah Lovrien added 10. Brookland made 9-13 foul shots and drained seven triples. Riverside forced Brookland into 21 turnovers on the night.

The Lady Rebels began the week by drubbing Trumann 68-32 Monday night at Lake City. Riverside held leads of 21-9 after the first quarter, 45-21 at the half and 58-27 entering the final frame.

Riverside placed five players in double figures, led by Carson Smithís 12 points. Hoffman had 11 while Robertson, Fisher and Wagganor all dropped in 10 points apiece.

Riverside will open district tournament play Monday afternoon against host Piggott. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

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