The Lady Raiders put together a trademark game to pick up their second Region XVI win. Early in the season, Three Rivers' strong wins had a similar storyline. Stifling defense, balanced scoring, lots of bench points. Steadily their opponent would wear down and the score would grow. That's exactly what the Lady Raiders did Wednesday in their 74-49 win over Jefferson at the Bess Activity Center. "We came out and took control of things last night on both sides of the ball," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "If we shoot the ball well, we are going to play well." Three Rivers (15-9, 2-4 Region XVI) held the Lady Vikings (5-11, 0-4) to 27 percent shooting, the lowest by any opponent in two months. "We were anticipating passes, moving from where the ball was going from one direction to the next," Walk said. Jefferson made one 3-pointer and committed 24 turnovers. Three Rivers finished plus-8 in points off turnovers and plus-1 in second chance points. Jefferson's Shannyn Triplett was particularly picked on. She committed nine turnovers while also getting 16 points and 14 rebounds. Izze Ringling led Jefferson with 20 points and seven rebounds. She was 8 for 17 shooting and was the only Lady Viking to shoot better than 33 percent from the fi eld. Jefferson's four-person bench didn't make a field goal. It was a combined 0 for 5 with a collective 60 minutes worth of playing time. Jefferson had two bench points off a pair of free throws.
The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, had 28 bench points. Five of the six played at least 11 minutes. All six players off the bench had at least one field goal. Alex Kohler led the crew with nine points on 50 percent shooting. Sydni Williams led the starters with 15 points and nine rebounds. She was 7 for 8 at he free-throw line and had five blocks. Kahliya Murry added six blocks to go with eight rebounds and four points. Three Rivers finished with 12 blocks, its secondmost this season. The Lady Raiders are 13th in the country in blocks per game (5.5). "That helps our defensive assignments. When we get beat on the perimeter, we know we've got some shot blockers who can help that," Walk said. DeNayia Holmes added 13 points on 6 for 7 shooting and Lakeita Chappel got 11 points on 5 for 11 shooting. The Lady Raiders starters shot 50 percent from the fi eld and the team shot 41 percent. Three Rivers led wire to wire and took its first double-digit lead late in the first quarter on a layup by Markeia Porter. Jefferson cut the lead to six points and then, starting with a 3 by Dejah Malveaux just before the end of the first quarter, Three Rivers went on a 15-1 run to take a 20-point lead. "We picked up the defensive intensity on the full court and turned them over three or four times in a row and got into what I like to call a feeding frenzy," Walk said. Holmes scored three straight buckets to start the second quarter and then the rest of the team got involved as the Lady Raiders led by 19 going into halftime. Jefferson won the third quarter, but by just a point, and the Three Rivers opened the fourth with a 10-2 run to take a 25-point lead. Jefferson didn't get within 20 points the rest of the game. Three Rivers is now a 1 1/2 games behind State Fair, which comes to town Saturday, for fourth place in the region standings. "We could still finish second, 6-4 is the best we are going to be, but there is a lot of us who could be 6-4. Beating Mineral Area at Mineral Area is a huge win," Walk said. "Every (game) is going to have implications on where we are going to shake out."
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic