EPC girls defeat Riverside 57-53
Tribune Sports Staff
A strong fourth quarter, along with free throws by EPC down the stretch provided the difference as EPC defeated Riverside 57-53 Monday night in senior girls basketball action.
In the non-conference game, held at Warrior Gym in Lepanto, the game had 23 lead changes and both teams made attempts to come back, while down in the second half. The game see-sawed back and forth in the first quarter as EPC jumped out to a 13-6 first quarter lead. However, Riverside (4-4) outscored EPC 11-2 in the final two minutes of the quarter to take a 17-15 lead after one quarter.
Both teams battled in physical conditions in the second quarter, as EPC entered the bonus early in the second quarter. EPC jumped out to the lead in the second quarter, behind the scoring of guards Lauren Turner, Holly Hinton and Sam King. The three helped to lead EPC in the second quarter, with Turner and Hinton hitting several key three-pointers to pace EPC.
However, Riverside continued to battle against the athletic EPC team, turning a 27-24 lead with 2:38 left in the first half into a 30-30 game at halftime.
In the second half, EPC quietly moved ahead, using an inside-outside game that featured both guards Lauren Turner and Holly Hinton, with post players Lauren Hale and Alisha Gilmer. After a 34 all game with 6:34 left in the third quarter, EPC went on a 9-2 run to take a 45-40 lead after three quarters.
Riverside made a move in the fourth quarter to fight back, using the pick and roll to perfection against the EPC defense. The Lady Rebels went on a 9-2 run of their own, keyed by the play of Maresa Johnson and Sam Dunigan. The pair gave Riverside a 49-48 lead with 4:00 left to play. The game turned on the next possession down court, as Turner buried a three-pointer from the top of the key, giving EPC a 51-49 lead. The game went back and forth for the next few minutes, as both EPC and Riverside went to the line in the final minute of the game. After a 53 all game with 1:45 left, Riverside called timeout to set up strategy for the remainder of the game. However, EPC forward Lauren Hale was fouled on the next trip down the court with 34.2 seconds left. Hale hit both free throws, giving EPC the lead for good.
EPC was led in scoring by Lauren Turner, who scored a game-high 19 points. Sade Madden added 16 and Holly Hinton scored 7 for EPC, who travels to Carlisle Tuesday night. Riverside was led in scoring by Maresa Johnson with 16 points, while Sam Dunigan added 13 points.
EPC Girls Head Coach Bobby Lewallen told the Tri-City Tribune that his team battled back in the second half. Lewallen said, "We kind of had a let down at the end of the third quarter. Yet, the players came together at the end." Lewallen noted that the Riverside pick and roll was tough to defend, yet the key to the game was Madden, Hinton and Turner finding open three-pointers due to the Riverside zone defense.
EPC returns home Nov. 29 to face the Palestine-Wheatley Patriots in Lepanto.
EPC also won the junior girls game 40-38. EPC led 13-2 after one quarter and 19-12 at halftime, yet Riverside fought back to take a 31-26 lead after three quarters. Jordan Madden led EPC with 15 points, while LaPorscha Williams added 13 for the Jr. Warriors, who face Carlisle and West Memphis West in the next week. Morgan Emery led Riverside with 13 points.