By Molly Seales
The past week and weekend did not play out the way the Riverdale Rebels and Lady Rebels had hoped for, but both teams had outstanding seasons and made the Riverdale fans proud. The Lady Rebels finished 4th in Class A, while the Rebels are Class A Runner-Up. Both teams played semi-final games on Friday, February 26. The Lady Rebels fell to Desoto School by a score of 55-37. Junior Kenley Loftin and 7th grader Mary Claire Jones led the Lady Rebels in scoring with 9 points each. Loftin also pulled down an impressive 18 rebounds and had 2 blocked shots. Jones pulled down 2 rebounds and had a steal. Jessie Kate Cobb had 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals. Pacey Lindsey also had 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Ronda Black had 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Rylee Kate Woodard had 2 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. This loss put them into the consolation bracket for Saturday.
The Rebels played an exciting semi-final game against Delta Academy, coming out on top with a final score of 66-65. With 16 seconds left and the Rebels down by 1, the ball was inbounded to junior guard Ty Jones. He drove the length of the floor as the Rebels spread the offense to clear out the lane. With the clock winding down, Jones drove into the lane and shot a barely contested lay-up that put the Rebels up 66-65 with 2.4 seconds left in the game. Delta managed to get the ball down the floor, but a wild 3 point shot failed to go in, and the Rebels came out on top. Jones led all scorers with 29 points. He also had 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and 1 blocked shot. Parker Almond added 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Denver Williams added 8 points and had 6 rebounds. Garrett Wilhite had 6 points and 4 rebounds, while Paul Messenger had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist. Caden Long had 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Reagan Huddleston led his team in rebounds, pulling down an impressive 9 boards. Reagan also had 2 steals.
On Saturday in the girls’ consolation bracket, the Lady Rebels fell to the Briarfield Rebels 58-38. Junior Kenley Loftin again led her team in scoring with 13 points. She also pulled down 5 rebounds. Sophomore Jessie Kate Cobb had 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Senior Ronda Black added 7 points and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Rylee Kate Woodard added 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Pacey Lindsey had 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Renee Prosperie had 2 points and 5 rebounds, while Mary Claire Jones added 2 points.
Saturday night the Rebels took on the Delta Streets Lions, who have been ranked #1 in the MAIS Coach’s Poll all year. The Rebels held their own with them during the first half, but in the second half the Lions got hot and never looked back. The Rebels suffered a heartbreaking 74-47 loss, which made them Class A State Runner Up. In the finals, Ty Jones put up 25 points. He also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Reagan Huddleston again led his team in rebounds with 9 boards, and he also deflected 6 passes. Parker Almond scored 8 points, had 6 rebounds, had 4 assists, and had 4 steals. Paul Messenger added 5 points and 3 rebounds, while Denver Williams had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Caden Long had 3 points, 1 assist, and 1 steal, while Garrett Wilhite had 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Junior Kenley Loftin was named to the Class A All Tournament team for the second year in a row. Last year she made it as a sophomore who came off the bench to spark her team in the state championship tournament. I asked Kenley how she felt about being named to the all- tournament team and she said, “I am super blessed for the opportunity to play basketball this season with my teammates. It’s such an honor to receive an award for my hard work.” Seniors Parker Almond and Paul Messenger, and junior Ty Jones were named to the Class A All Tournament team for the boys.
The Rebels will host the first overall tournament game against Christian Collegiate at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3rd. Come out and support the Rebels or follow them live on Journal Sports!