Mountain View upends Riverside in regional finals

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Riverside sophomore Lotti Hoffman dives for a loose ball during Saturday night's regional tournament champion matchup with Mountain View.

In a battle of the top two 3A teams, Riverside and Mountain View squared off in Saturday nightís regional championship at Melbourne. When the dust had settled, the second ranked Lady Yellowjackets upended the top ranked Lady Rebels, 48-43, to capture the tournament title.

Mountain View led throughout most of the first half. Cheyenne Shelton, the Lady ĎJacketsí 6í2 center, scored four points as Mountain View jumped to an early 6-0 lead. Riverside bounced back and cut the margin to 8-7 by the end of the first break.

Haven Robertsonís three pointer at the 5:22 mark of the second quarter gave Riverside its first lead of the game, 11-9. Shelton answered with a three-point play, putting the Lady Yellowjackets back on top as the two teams exchanged leads. Freshman Aubrey Isbell and Kaley Shipman connected with back to back buckets to up the Mountain View lead to 18-13. Riverside closed the gap to two points, 20-18, when Whitney Wagganor knocked down a triple from beyond the top of the key to close out the first half.

Riverside senior point guard Whitney Wagganor drives for two of her team high 17 points in Saturday night's regional final against Mountain View.

With Mountain View double teaming Robertson and concentrating on shutting down the three-point shooting of Bailey Fisher, the Lady Rebels turned to Wagganor, who scored eight points in the third quarter. After five ties in the frame, Wagganor put the Lady Rebels on top, 29-27, entering the final frame.

Kadyn Johnson knotted the game once again with an inside bucket to begin the fourth quarter. Isbell followed with a driving lay-up after a Riverside turnover, giving the Lady Yellowjackets a 31-29 advantage. After a Riverside miss, Shipman sank an eight-footer. Seconds later Shelton dropped in a pair of free throws, and suddenly Mountain View held a 35-29 lead with 5:05 remaining in the game.

Lotti Hoffman rattled in a long three pointer and Wagganor followed with a pair of free throws as Riverside sliced the Mountain View lead to 35-34 with 4:23 left. Johnson muscled in an inside basket, giving the Lady Jackets a three point lead. But Robertson again closed the gap to one point, 37-36, with a pair of free throws. A Shelton free throw gave Mountain View a 38-36 lead at the 3:51 mark. Shelton was then whistled for a hard foul on Bailey Fisher, who was forced to leave the game with an injury. Hattie Milligan entered in her place to shoot the one and one, but misfired on the front end, with Mountain View grabbing the rebound. Johnson was fouled and the lanky senior made one charity toss, putting the Yellowjackets up 39-36 with 3:17 to go. Riverside missed on its next offensive possession, and forced to foul Mountain View, the Lady Yellowjackets connected on six straight free throws over the next two minutes to take a 45-41 lead with 1:00 left. Robertsonís basket with 15 ticks remaining sliced the Lady Jacket lead to one possession, 46-43, but Shipman closed out the win and the championship by sinking two free throws with eight seconds to go.

Lady Rebel Brittney Sain is held by an unidentified Mountain View player as teammate Briley Douglas (21) looks on during regional tournament action Saturday night at Melbourne.

Shipman scored a game high 18 points, including eight in the final frame, to pace Mountain View, while Shelton added 13. Mountain View hit 21-30 free throws on the night.

Wagganor led Riverside with 17 points while Hoffman scored 10. Robertson had nine, Brittney Sain tallied three, Carson Smith netted two while Fisher and Briley Douglas chipped in one point apiece. Riverside went 14-19 from the foul stripe. Mountain View extended its defensive pressure to hold Riverside to just three treys on the night. Riverside won the turnover battle, forcing Mountain View into 16 miscues.

Riverside, 36-2, will open state tournament play as a number two seed, taking on Lamar Wednesday night at 7:00 at Monticello.

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