Wells leads Haynes past Riverside, 61-42

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2012



The stakes were clear in the District 10-2A clash Thursday between Riverside and Haynes. The winner would be all but assured second place behind John Curtis, and with that placement an automatic playoff bid. The loser would have to rely on securing a wildcard.

The latter scenario is what the Rebels face now, after Haynes captured a 61-42 victory over Riverside.

Eighth grade forward Maddison Wells scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Haynes. She keyed a second quarter surge that saw the Yellow Jackets go into halftime up by 11, largely via her work on the offensive glass.

“I thought we had size just as they did, but their bigs wanted it,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “(Wells) wanted the ball and really han dled us on the boards. Their bigs simply wanted it more.”

Taylor Turner added 10 for Haynes.

Toni Hebert led Riverside (8-15, 6-3) with 14 points. But after an early barrage of three pointers by the eighth grader — she hit three in the first quarter and four overall in the first half — the Yellow Jackets made a concerted effort to deny the sharpshooter any space.

“We felt like if we stayed in front of (Simmons and Joseph) and get out on Hebert, then we’d be fine,” said Haynes coach Michael Bonera. “I thought Maddison took over in the second quarter, and that our guards really stepped up and outplayed theirs defensively in the second half.”

Kelsey Joseph scored 11 for Riverside. Channan Simmons scored seven.

Haynes (12-12, 6-2) led 11-4 in the first quarter, but the Rebels closed the gap by the end of the period to leave things tied at 15. Kennedy White hit a 3 from the wing and Joseph hit a pull up jumper to make it 13-9 before Hebert hit back to back 3’s. Wells scored in transition on a leakout to tie things up for Haynes.

That seemed to spark Wells, who scored 10 second quarter points to lead Haynes to a 20-9 advantage in the quarter. She’d hit two foul shots to match a Simmons layup early in the period. But then she and Turner scored on back to back possessions to make it a four point game.

Hebert’s fourth 3 would soon tie things up at 22, but it was an offensive putback by Wells that would put Haynes ahead for good. Erin Peters scored in transition, then Wells made two more free throws to extend things to six. A later putback by Wells made it 32-24, the biggest lead of the night to that point for Haynes, and foul shooting pushed the lead to 35-24 at half.

The Rebels appeared primed to make a surge back into it, scoring the first three buckets of the second half. Jamie Bolden scored twice on putbacks and Joseph hit a floater to make it 35-30.

But the Yellow Jackets slammed the door via a 14-0 run that began with a Peters 3. Chloe d’Aquin scored on a leakout and Wells converted another pair of putbacks to make it 44-30. Amira Karajic canned a 3 to push the lead to 17, and Haley Gonzales fed Turner inside for a layup to make it 49-30; the shell-shocked Rebels would never get closer than 15, and Haynes held RA without a field goal in the final quarter.

While Haynes made its impact inside, Riverside struggled to finish, coming up empty on numerous chances at the rim.

“The amount of layups and missed shots underneath was uncalled for,” said Coach Hebert. “If we go 50-50 on those, it makes a big difference. We might be close at the end or even winning.”

She said that now the focus is simply on winning out; Riverside, she noted, was three spots outside of the cutoff in power points, so the Rebels have to continue to win to push their way into the postseason field.

“We definitely can’t stop now,” said Coach Hebert.