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River Ridge girls hoops splits pair of games

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By A.J. Gates

 

With a chance to create a late-season shake up in the Six Rivers West conference standings, coach Veronica Zinkle and her River Ridge girls basketball squad couldn’t pull off the upset over host Highland last Friday night.

River Ridge lost to the Cardinals, 40-33, falling to 5-4 in league play with one game remaining on their schedule against Potosi/Cassville Thursday night.

With the win, Highland clinched at least a share of this year’s conference title, improving to 8-1 and sitting one game ahead of second-place Belmont (7-2). The Cardinals conclude the regular season at Shullsburg (5-4) Thursday night, while the Braves host Benton (2-7).

Against the Cardinals last Friday night, the Timberwolves held a 16-9 lead at the half but were then outscored 31-17 in the second half.

Coach Zinkle’s squad was 13-of-36 (36.1 percent) from the field, including 4-of-20 (20 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. They were 3-of-11 (27.2 percent) from the free throw line, compared to 16-of-25 (64 percent) for the Cardinals.

Senior Shayna Graf netted a team-high 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, while also pulling down seven rebounds to go along with two assists and two steals.

Reghan Zinkle chipped in seven points and a team-high nine rebounds and four assists, while Braylyn Quick added five points and Erin Adrian four.

In on-conference action last Tuesday night, the Timberwolves pulled out a 39-33 overtime victory over visiting Lancaster.

In a low-scoring first half, the Timberwolves held a lead of 18-6 at the intermission, only to see the Flying Arrows score nine straight points to start the second half.

A three-pointer by Lancaster’s Lily Weber gave the Arrows their first lead of the night at 25-24 with four minutes to play in the contest, while a bucket by Zinkle put the Timberwolves back out front, 26-25 with two minutes to play.

A pair of free throws by Lydia Mason extended the Timberwolves’ lead to 28-25 with 56 seconds on the clock, while a three-pointer by Lancaster’s Mallory Olmstead evened the score, sending the game into overtime.

In the overtime session, River Ridge made 9-of-14 free throw attempts, as was led by junior Mandi Wehrle, who was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute of overtime.

Lancaster committed four turnovers and went 2-of-5 from the field in the overtime session.

Wehrle led the Timberwolves with 10 points, followed by Reghan Zinkle with eight and Braylyn Quick six.

As the No. 6 seed in their division 5 sectional bracket, the Timberwolves (13-8) will kick off tournament action on Tuesday, Feb. 20, against No. 11 seed North Crawford (6-12). The top seed in the bracket belongs to Argyle/Pecatonica (20-1), while Wauzeka-Steuben (18-2) holds the second seed.

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