LEGACY OF WINNING: Riverdale captures third title in four years

LEGACY OF WINNING: Riverdale captures third title in four years

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LEGACY OF WINNING: Riverdale captures third title in four years

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MURFREESBORO

The legacy is in the record books.

The Riverdale girls basketball team’s dynasty simply took another step.

The top-ranked Lady Warriors added to its state championship hardware Saturday, claiming its second consecutive gold ball after defeating second-ranked Science Hill 78-69 in a rematch of last year’s Class AAA state title game. Riverdale’s state championship is its third in four years and fourth since 2007.

All four state titles have come under a different head coach.

The irony was throughout the past week, the word dynasty was hardly used by members of Riverdale’s girls basketball team.

“Maybe since there have been three coaches with a gold ball over four years is why people don’t think it’s a dynasty,” Riverdale coach Cory Barrett said. “But it’s all about the players. Those kids put it on the line for two, three and four years. They’ve been nothing but successful.”

Riverdale (35-0) finished the season with a 58-game win streak. The Lady Warriors are 133-7 over the past four years, and have been to the state championship game each season.

“This is just an awesome feeling,” Riverdale junior Alexa Middleton said. “It says a lot about the Lady Warrior legacy, and how hard we work every year to get to this point in the season. It shows we create a bond every year. We know we have to work hard to get here.”

Riverdale’s starting lineup — Tyisha Petty, Middleton, Olivia Jones, Tiffany Lewis and Shelbie Davenport — were all named to the all-tournament team after the win. Petty was named the tournament MVP.

Riverdale, which is the 26th girls basketball team in the state to finish undefeated, broke four state tournament team records in the championship game. Riverdale broke the tournament record for most points scored (246), most assists (60) most 3-pointers attempted (63) and most 3-pointers made (26).

And they did it with the a national target on their backs. Riverdale began its tournament run with a No. 1 national ranking by MaxPreps and ESPN.

“I think this is a little more special (than past championships),” said senior point guard Tyisha Petty. “No. 1 in the nation, state championship with so many doubting us that we could make it.”

Petty, who was named the state tournament MVP, and Jones were key members of the Lady Warriors’ four-year run. Petty started the past four years. Jones started three years, and was the first person off the bench her freshman year.

“This is exciting,” Jones said. “I helped set a standard. I made a legacy.

“It’s just exciting the team could do this the last time I wore a Riverdale jersey.”

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