DeGRAFF – Riverside couldn’t overcome 23 first-half turnovers as the Lady Pirates lost their season opener to visiting Northeastern, 46-31, in non-league girls basketball action Nov. 21.
The Pirates were down by just one, 7-6, headed into the second period, but watched the Jets steal their way to a 16-point quarter, the visitors grabbing a 23-12 lead at the half.
Riverside did a better job on holding onto the ball in the second half, but Northeastern was able to answer the Pirates shot-for-shot in final two periods, keeping the hosts at arm’s length for the rest of the game.
The Pirates have but one returning player letter-winner from the 2014-15 team, senior Aubrey Stephens, and one other senior, Abby Proffitt, who earned a varsity basketball letter as a sophomore.
After that, Riverside head coach Danielle King has a roster that is quite talented, but also quite young and without any high school varsity basketball experience. There are no juniors on the squad.
Freshman Shelby Giles got her varsity wings quickly as she dropped in the first two-points of what is expected to be a very productive career on two foul shots in the first. She lead all Pirates with 12 points, including hitting two three-pointers. Sophomore Marissa Davis hasn’t played hoops since middle school, but is an all-league volleyball player with skills that translate nicely onto the basketball ball court. Davis had seven rebounds and four steals to go with her four points. Sophomore Aubrey Stillings played at full speed for 32 minutes and dropped a trey for the Pirates, closing with nine points.
Things are looking up for the JV team as the Pirates raced past the Jets, 37-9. Dana Jones popped in 13 points in the win.
Riverside will spend their next four games and three weeks on the road, not returning to DeGraff for a ballgame until Dec. 12 when the Pirates host Ansonia. The last two games on the road tour are against Shelby County League members Houston and Jackson Center.