Lady Rebels earn trip to 3A State Tournament with 53-43 win over Bergman

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Riverside earned a trip to this year’s 3A State Tournament with a hard fought 53-43 victory over Bergman Wednesday night at Melbourne.

The Lady Rebels fell behind early, 10-3, as Bergman came out hot from beyond the three-point arc, getting back to back bombs from Sydney Savage and Courtney Menke to begin the game. A Menke bucket at the 3:11 mark gave the Lady Panthers a seven point advantage. Riverside charged back, scoring seven unanswered points. Baskets by Grace Anne Puckett and Haven Robertson sandwiched around a Lotti Hoffman triple evened the game at 10-10 with 46 seconds left in the opening quarter. An inside basket by Berman’s Hannah Edgar gave the Lady Panthers a 12-10 lead, breaking the Lady Rebel run, but Hoffman knocked down her second triple of the quarter before Robertson launched a 40-footer that hit nothing but the bottom of the net just as the horn sounded, giving Riverside a 16-15 edge after the first break.

The lead went back and forth during the second stanza before the Lady Rebels took control behind Robertson, who scored eight straight to give Riverside a 29-22 lead with 1:06 left in the half. Bailey Fisher’s 30-footer with two seconds left put the Lady Rebels ahead double digits, 32-22, at intermission.

Riverside stretched its advantage to 17 points by the end of the third quarter as they outscored the Lady Panthers 11-4. The Lady Rebels chose to go to their four-corners offense to begin the fourth period. Riverside worked three minutes off the clock before a turnover gave Berman the ball. Kerigan Bradshaw took advantage, nailing a three pointer to slice the lady Rebel lead to 43-29. Robertson’s lay-in at the 3:36 mark pushed Riverside’s advantage back to 15, but three straight turnovers helped Bergman go on a 10-2 run, capped off by Jessie Van Lear’s three point play at the 1:12 mark, closing the gap to 47-40. Riverside finished the game nailing eight straight free throws to advance to the regional semifinals and a trip to this week’s state tournament at Monticello.

“We want to try to set a standard of getting to the state tournament,” said Riverside Coach Spencer Hoffman. “It really feels good getting back this year. Bergman is a tough matchup for us. They didn’t have a mismatch we could take advantage of. We were scrambling trying to find an advantage offensively, but overall, it was a good win over a good program. We’re excited to advance.”

Robertson pumped in a game high 21 points to pace the Lady Rebels. Hoffman also hit double digits, scoring 11. Fisher had nine, Whitney Wagganor tallied four while Hattie Milligan and Brittney Sain netted three points apiece. Puckett chipped in two points. Riverside knocked down 11-14 foul shots and dropped in eight three pointers.

Menke led Bergman with 12 points while Van Lear added 10. The Lady Panthers hit 5-9 free throws and drilled six three pointers.

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