Lamar upsets Lady Rebels in overtime

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Lady Rebel coach Spencer Hoffman rallies his troops during Riverside's second half rally against Lamar.  Riverside fell short, losing to the Lady Warriors 58-54 in overtime.

Riverside’s storybook season came crashing down Wednesday night in the first round of the 3A State Tournament at Monticello as Lamar upset the Lady Rebels 58-54 in overtime.

Riverside, which finished the season with a 36-3 mark, came out ice cold in the first half. The Lady Rebels, normally a proficient three-point shooting team, went 0-10 in the first half from beyond the arc. Riverside didn’t fare much better from two-point land, making under 20 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half, falling behind 33-13 at intermission.

Haven Robertson scored the first two points of the game for Riverside, but Lamar charged back, outscoring the Lady Rebels 16-3 the rest of the quarter to take a 16-5 advantage after the first break. Riverside continued to fall further behind in the second stanza. Lamar scored the first six points of the quarter, increasing their margin to 22-5. Carson Smith broke a seven-minute Lady Rebel scoring drought with an inside bucket at the 5:39 mark, making the score 22-7. But the Lady Warriors answered with a 9-0 run to build a 31-7 lead with 2:28 left in the half. Robertson and Lotti Hoffman closed the second quarter with back to back buckets as Riverside headed to the dressing room down 20 at intermission.

Riverside senior Haven Robertson guards Lamar's Aspen Williams during first round action of the 3A State Tournament Wednesday at Monticello.

Macy Pelts dropped in an inside basket at the 3:48 mark of the third quarter as the Lady Warriors maintained a 20-point advantage, 41-21. Riverside applied defensive pressure, forcing 10 turnovers over the next 3:30, and outscored Lamar 17-0 to close the quarter, pulling to within 41-38 entering the final frame. Robertson and Brittney Sain buried three pointers while Hoffman scored seven points to spark the Lady Rebel rally.

Sain’s second triple of the game at the 5:06 mark of the final frame pulled Riverside even at 45-all. The Lady Rebels went on top for the first time since the game’s opening minute when Robertson threw in a basket after a Lamar turnover, putting Riverside ahead 47-45 with 4:54 left. The Lady Warriors came right back, getting a conventional three-point play from sophomore Lakyn Sanders to nudge ahead 48-47 at the 4:42 mark. Smith put Riverside back on top, 49-48, with an inside bucket after a perfect feed from sophomore Hailey Carr. Sanders evened the game at 49 apiece with 2:59 to go by canning one of two free throws. Riverside took the lead on its next possession when Robertson drained a three pointer at the 2:14 mark as the Lady Rebels took a 52-49 advantage. But Lamar knotted the game when Judah drilled her fourth three pointer of the night, squaring the game at 52-all with 1:57 showing on the clock. Riverside decided to play for the last shot and ran the clock down to 12 seconds before calling time out. The Lady Rebels worked the ball around the perimeter, and with two ticks left on the clock, Smith’s 10-foot jumper missed the mark, sending the game into overtime.

Riverside drew first blood in the extra period with 3:40 left when Smith dropped in a pair of charity tosses, putting the Lady Rebels ahead 54-52. Riverside fouled on Lamar’s next two possessions, but Lamar was only able to make two of four attempts which tied the game 54-all at the 2:28 mark. Riverside again chose to play for the final shot, but a critical turnover with 40 ticks remaining gave the ball back to the Lady Warriors. Lamar worked the clock down to inside 10 seconds. Sanders drove the lane and laid a left handed shot off the glass and through the net with what proved to be the game winner with seven seconds to go. Riverside called timeout to set up one last play, but Smith’s inbound pass sailed out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Lady Warriors. Forced to foul, Riverside sent Sanders back to the line where the sophomore sealed the victory by canning both attempts, lifting Lamar to a 58-54 victory.

“I thought turnovers hurt us, especially early in the game,” said Riverside coach Spencer Hoffman. “We couldn’t get the ball to go in the bucket and on the opposite end, they shot the ball well. It just kind of snowballed on us in the first half. We fought back and actually took the lead twice in the fourth quarter, but we never could get the lead and the ball. We played for the last shot in regulation and had a chance to win, but we missed the shot. I thought it was a typical state tournament game between two good teams. We couldn’t have played any worse in the first half or much better in the second half. I was proud of the way the girls fought back. They never flinched. The toughest part of the loss is not being able to coach those seniors again. You’d like to end the season with a win but there’s only one team who will end their year with a smile on their face. Everyone else is going to be disappointed.”

Robertson closed her Lady Rebel career with 16 points. Hoffman also hit double digits, scoring 12. Smith had eight, Sain tallied six, Bailey Fisher and Briley Douglas pitched in five points apiece while Whitney Wagganor added two points. Riverside connected on 10-12 foul shots and canned 6-25 three-point attempts.

Angel Wyatt topped Lamar with 16 points. Judah and Aspen Williams scored 13 points apiece while Sanders added 12. The Lady Warriors went to the foul stripe 29 times and made 21. Lamar sank 6-13 three pointers while Riverside won the turnover battle, 22-16.

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