Rebels fall to Caddo

Published 11:45 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

A breakthrough season for Riverside came to an end on the road Thursday as host North Caddo advanced past the Lady Rebels, 55-45, in a Class 2A Regional round playoff game.
Kendra Turner led Riverside with 21 points. Toni Hebert scored 10 and Kelsey Joseph added six.
Ledetriha Sheppard paced North Caddo with 21 points.
Fouls and turnovers proved to be Riverside’s Achilles’ heel. North Caddo registered 17 steals while Turner and Jaimaya Bolden, RA’s center and power forward respectively, dealt with foul trouble for much of the game.
“Our girls played really hard. We just had too many turnovers,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “And uncharacteristic of us, we missed 11 free throws, including six in the second half where we could have cut the lead down.
“I thought we had a fairly good shot. Everything we knew of North Caddo was that they were a good team, but we’d have the advantage in the post.”
Fouls, however, negated much of that advantage.
“Kendra scored the first six points, but in the next minute she picked up two fouls,” said Hebert. “Jaimaya fouled out … when our bigs started scoring, they’d get into foul trouble and that kind of hurt us.”
Riverside (22-10) led 18-17 in the second quarter before North Caddo (30-3) made a late run to take a five-point halftime lead.
Caddo led by as many as 13 after an early surge to begin the second half, but Riverside was able to claw back within five.
“We called a time out and got refocused,” said Hebert. “To their credit, they weren’t ready to go home yet.”
But Caddo wouldn’t let Riverside draw closer and pulled away for good in the fourth quarter.
Jasmine Thomas scored 17 for North Caddo. Sumer Williams scored 10.
Hebert said that she was extremely proud of her Rebels for a season that saw Riverside set a new team record for wins in a season with 22.
The Rebels earned their highest postseason seed ever at 10, and will return all but one senior — starting guard Kelsey Joseph.
“The girls kept pushing all season,” said Hebert. “This should be a stepping stone for us.”
Joseph, Hebert said, made a big impact in her final season.
“She really grew into her role in mid-December, and especially over the last month,” said Hebert. “She stepped up as a senior leader who we could count on as a vocal leader or through just playing hard. I couldn’t have asked any more of her.”