Riverside’s inability to hit the bottom of the basket in the first half resulted in the Lady Pirates digging themselves a hole that they couldn’t scratch their way out of in a 46-37 loss to visiting Ansonia in non-league girls basketball action Dec. 12.
The Pirates had their chances at the rim in the first half and were getting decent looks, but the ball rimmed out or bounded away time and again, and the Pirates scored just 13 points in the first half, a point total that was matched by Ansonia’s Brooke Neal in the opening quarters. Neal scored all nine of the Tigers’ first quarter points by draining a trio of three-pointers, a fourth rimming out as the buzzer sounded to end the first. Neal then added four more points in the second period to equal the entire first half output of the Riverside team.
The Pirates finally found their shooting touch in the third, with Aubrey Stephens draining three jumpers as the Pirates connected on seven field goals to make a run at the Tigers. At one juncture, the Pirates pulled within a point of the visitors, and headed into the fourth down by only three points, 31-28.
But Ansonia sealed the win at the charity stripe. The Pirates netted one more field goal in the quarter than did the Tigers (4-to-3), but Ansonia took 13 foul shots in the period, connecting on eight, while the Pirates attempted only two freebies in the fourth, making one. The Tigers had 22 attempts from the stripe in the game, while limiting the Pirates to just 10 attempts from the line.
Riverside’s Marissa Davis continued to make a name for herself on the hardwood – she is an all-league hitter for Riverside’s volleyball team – as the sophomore recorded a double-double in the loss with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Stephens scored eight points on four field goals and grabbed six boards, while Aubrey Stillings had seven points and six rebounds. Courtney Smith also had six boards in the loss
Ansonia’s Neal paced all scorers with 20 points, taking one more free throw in the game than did the entire Riverside team. She was joined in double-digit scoring by teammate Bailey Stamman, who chipped in with 10 points.
Ansonia also won the jayvee game, 32-22. Kalin Kreglow paced the Pirate effort with 10 points.
Riverside travels to play Triad in a non-league contest Monday, Dec. 14, then stays on the road for their Northwest Central Conference opener at Lima Perry Thursday, Dec. 17. Botkins visits Pirates in DeGraff a non-league match up Saturday, Dec. 19.
Tom Stephens is a regular contributor to this newspaper.