ACCS Lady Rebels use constant charge to defeat Riverfield

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NATCHEZ —Adams County Christian probably could have used third-team effort to defeat Riverfield Academy Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, the Lady Rebels started off with their first and second teams to put away their district foe very early in the game.

ACCS had six points on the board when Riverfield scored for the first time, 6:14 into the game, with two free throws, and the lady Raiders did not get a field goal until the final minutes of the first quarter.

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By the end of the first 8 minutes the Lady Rebels were already up 19-5.

“That just sparked us from the beginning,” said ACCS coach Melanie Hall. “That was huge. But Riverfield came out with fire in their eyes and pep in their step.”

Despite that pep, the Lady Rebels could only muster two more points to end the half, off a field goal from Courtney Chapman, who ended the game with 14 points to lead Riverfield.

At 4:48 in the second quarter, Hall substituted five players to take out any first- and second-stringers, as the Lady Rebels were already up 29-7.

She didn’t want the game to get out of hand, but she did want to make sure the lead stayed solid, which is why the starters came back to open the second half.

The ACCS defense forced 18 turnover — 4 of the Lady Rebels’ first 6 points came off steals — and even when the game was obviously in hand, the Lady Rebels flew across the floor for steals, jump balls and to save possessions.

“The girls played with a lot of heart and intensity, and they had a lot of fun tonight,” Hall said. “We stress to play hard, play smart and play together. Of course, defense always sparks your offense.”

But the real spark came from rebounds. All told, the Lady Rebels grabbed 59 boards, and more than half their points came off second- or third-chance shots.

“As (Tennessee women’s basketball coach) Pat Summit would say, ‘Rebounds win championships,’” Hall said. “How many second and third attempts do you get? You’ve got that many more opportunities with the ball when you’re boarding. Instead of just turning and going, I actually saw people putting a body on somebody and blocking them out.”

Riverfield scored almost half its points in the fourth quarter of the game, when ACCS’s third string was one the floor.

And 9 of those points were from free throws.

The Lady Raiders scored 17 total points from the free-throw line.

“I complimented them on so many things they did well, but you’ve got to move your feet and play defense,” Hall said. “Over half their points were from the free-throw line. You cannot send a team to the line that many times.”

Sara Beth Fuller led the Lady Rebels with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Ashley Morrison added 12.

Hall, whose mother died recently, enjoyed the company of her family at the game. But she said one of the things that has really helped her get through the tough time is her team.

“The prayers and the unity and the love the people have shown — they’ve got my family in their prayers,” she said. “My team has just taken care of their coach, lifted her up.”

Riverfield boys 74, ACCS 44

The Rebels fell into a 6-point deficit early, and their 3 second-quarter points did nothing to help in their 3-AA matchup Tuesday.

The Raiders scored 15 points in that second quarter to take a 36-18 lead going into the half.

Although the Rebels were better able to keep up in the second half, they still never got close enough to close the gap.

Lee Swinney and Bryce Murray led the Rebels with 15 and 12 points, respectively, and Daniel Guedon added 8.

Taylor Long scored 18, and Logan Moore added 14 for Riverfield.