By Molly Seales
The evening of February 3 was a very special one as the Class of 2021 basketball players and cheerleader were honored at Riverdale Academy’s Basketball Senior Night. Before the girls’ game there was a special presentation for our senior athletes. Senior basketball cheerleader Tinley Ogden was presented with a wooden megaphone with pictures of her cheer days at Riverdale. It was signed by her fellow cheerleaders and given to her by cheer coach Sidney Jones. Then senior Lady Rebels #1 Ronda Black and #21 Pacey Lindsey were presented with basketballs signed by their coaches and their Lady Rebel teammates. Finally, our 5 senior Rebels #5 Parker Almond, #10 Garrett Wilhite, #13 Brennan Edie, #15 Paul Messenger, and #32 Noah Wren were recognized. They were also presented with basketballs signed by their coaches and Rebel teammates. Head Coach Ty Hester made all of the senior basketball presentations.
The Lady Rebels were faced with much pressure as they entered their final regular season game on senior night: if they could beat the Franklin Lady Cougars one more time, they would hold the title of District 4A Champs. Once again, the Lady Rebels came out cold and fell into a 8-0 hole, but Coach Ty Hester called a couple of timeouts to encourage the girls and remind them of the task at hand. Late in the first quarter, the Lady Rebels responded and were only down 8-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Rebels took control the second quarter and went into halftime ahead by a score of 27-15. They never looked back and beat the Lady Cougars 51-36 and clinched the District Championship Title. Rylee Kate Woodard led the Lady Rebels in scoring with 17 points. She also had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Junior Kenley Loftin added another double-double to her season, scoring 14 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Kenley also had 5 steals and 2 assists. 7th grader Mary Claire Jones added a big spark off the bench, draining 3 3-pointers for 9 points. She also had 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Jessie Kate Cobb added 6 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Ronda Black had 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Pacey Lindsey had 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. At the end of the game Seniors Pacey Lindsey and Ronda Black received a standing ovation as they exited their home court for the last time as Junior Renee’ Prosperie and Sophomore Emma Clemons subbed in for them.
In a time-honored tradition at Riverdale, all 5 senior boys started the game for the Rebels. The Rebels had an easy game against the Cougars and won 72-26. They remained undefeated in district play and are also District 4A Champions. Senior Parker Almond ended his legacy on the court he has called home his entire basketball career by scoring an outstanding 25 points in his final game at Riverdale. He also had 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 assists. Reagan Huddleston added 15 points and 5 rebounds. Caden Long had 6 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist. Garrett Wilhite had 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal. Senior Brennan Edie came out hot in his final game at Riverdale, scoring 5 of the first 7 points of the game, including a 3 pointer. He also had 3 rebounds and a steal. Ty Jones also had 5 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Denver Williams scored 4 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Paul Messenger scored 4 points and had 6 rebounds. Sophomore Luke Greer added 2 points, and Noah Wren had 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist in his final game on his home court. As the game came to an end, Coach Ty subbed in for the seniors one at a time, as each received a standing ovation from the crowd. Sophomore Luke Greer subbed in for senior Brennan Edie. Next, junior Jake Messenger subbed in for his senior brother, Paul. Freshman Ryder Huddleston then subbed in for senior Noah Wren. Sophomore Jace Wilhite then subbed in for his senior brother, Garett. Emotions were running high as point guard Parker Almond was the last senior left on his home court. Parker was met by his brother, sophomore Ben Almond, who embraced him as he spent his last moments on the court that he has played on so many years.
At halftime of the boys’ game, senior cheerleader Tinley Ogden got to perform her last dance that she will perform as a Rebel. Then later that night she got to cheer her boys on in the Riverdale gym one last time ending with, “We are From Riverdale.”