Top-ranked Riverdale regained its shooting touch Saturday night.
And that led to a long night for White County.
Riverdale, the defending Class AAA state champion, hit 11 3-pointers en route to a 74-32 rout over unranked White County in a Class AAA sectional at Johnny Parsley Memorial Gymnasium to advance to next week’s TSSAA BlueCross Girls Basketball State Championships.
Miss Basketball finalist Alexa Middleton led the outside attack, connecting on seven 3-pointers. She finished with a game-high 27 points.
“We just came out ready to play,” Middleton said. “I just did what I normally do. I shot with my dad (Friday night) and then before the game.”
Riverdale (32-0) extended its win streak to 55 games, tying its previous best mark set from 2010-11. The Lady Warriors also won their 67th straight game at home. White County finished the season 21-13.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association will hold a blind draw at 2 p.m. today at the Embassy Suites and Convention Center to determine the brackets for all three Division I classifications. The Class AAA tournament tips off on Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State University’s Murphy Center.
Riverdale qualified for its fourth consecutive state tournament. The Lady Warriors, who are ranked second nationally by MaxPreps and ESPN Hoopgurlz and fifth by USA Today, won the 2010 and 2012 Class AAA state titles and were runner-up in 2011.
Riverdale seniors Tyisha Petty and Olivia Jones, who are both MTSU signees, have reached the state tournament as key members of the Lady Warriors all four seasons.
“This is our goal,” Petty said. “We’re not going to stop until we get our goals accomplished. And getting to Murphy Center is one of them.”
Jones, a Miss Basketball finalist, added 11 for Riverdale. Petty had 10. Ten different players scored for Riverdale.
Latha Wilson led White County with 12 points. Emilee Howard added eight.
Riverdale dominated the contest from the opening minutes with its suffocating defensive pressure. Middleton’s 3-pointer 1:27 into the contest sparked a 12-0 run to give Riverdale a quick 10-point lead.
Riverdale put it in overdrive midway through the second half when Petty’s jumper sparked a 22-4 run to end the final 4:17 of the first half and give the Lady Warriors a commanding 46-15 lead.
Middleton hit four 3-pointers during the second-quarter run. Riverdale finished 11-of-26 from the 3-point line after hitting 2-of-20 in the Region 4-AAA final at Oakland on Thursday.
“It’s nice to get back home and do that,” said Riverdale first-year coach Cory Barrett. “Our confidence never wavered. As I told you before, we can shoot it. We’re going to let it go when a team gives that to us.”
Riverdale 74, White Co. 32
White Co. 7 8 12 5 — 32
Riverdale 14 32 20 8 — 74
White Co. A. Quillen 4, Taylor 2, Hudgens 2, King 2, Wilson 12, Foster 2, Howard 8.
Riverdale: Davenport 4, Lewis 5, Petty 10, Middleton 27, Jones 11, Cantrell 6, Conyers 1, Greeson 4, Heard 4, Murry 2.