It wasn’t perfect every time, but often enough Tuesday night the Riverside girls’ basketball team passed the ball calmly up the floor against full court pressure. The Lady Panthers could set up their offense or better yet get a quick, easy bucket at the rim.
Riverside pressed Trinity Christian Academy, too, and the host Lady Lions weren’t as effective against it.
The older Riverside team controlled the first half and held on for a 53-43 win Tuesday in Jackson, stepping ahead of TCA in the District 15-A race in which both teams are chasing unbeaten Middleton.
“TCA’s the team that’s most like us in the district,” Riverside coach Nicole Courtney said. “They’re not very big but they all work really hard. They’re all really scrappy, so I feel like we’re actually playing Riverside when we play TCA every year.
“I think that’s a good win for us, on this floor especially.”
Riverside (13-5, 5-1) led by ten points after one quarter and 14 at the half. TCA’s initial ball movement against the full court press was poor, leading to too many Riverside lay-ups.
The Lady Lions (11-9, 4-2) fared better as the game went on and cut the deficit to seven with 3:45 to go, but the first half had hurt.
“We just kind of were rushing, not slowing down. We were kind of in panic,” TCA coach Matthew Coble said. “We’ve done that. We’re young. Instead of calming down and doing what we’re supposed to, we were just in panic.”
Riverside senior guard Holly Chumney handles the ball a lot for her team, and she said she’s learned over the years to avoid the bad passes that lead to turnovers.
That kind of awareness could pay off later this year, as fellow starters Bree Linton, Kendall Walker and Nakota Wood are seniors and Lasha Scott is a juinor.
“We’re more relaxed when people press us now, like we’re more in the flow of it,” Chumney said.
Riverside was a bit sloppy late, though, and it’s a good bet Courtney will talk about that.
“I’ve been waiting to have senior kids,” Courtney said. “And now that I’ve got ‘em, I don’t like them turning the ball over at the end.”
Linton led Riverside with 17 points. Walker had 11 points and Chumney had eight.
Brynne Lytle scored 15 points for the Lady Lions. Haley Hathcock and Haley Carpenter each scored six.
Craig Thomas, 425-9634