The Riverside Rapids and Claremont Spartans played in perhaps the most exciting game of the day on the AAA side of the draw. And just like a meandering river, there were enough different twists and turns to make one’s head spin.
“I thought Claremont wanted it more than us for a lot of portions of the game” said Riverside head coach Paul Langford afterwards. “Our kids are fairly talented, and when we worked hard we were really good.”
Claremont got off to a blazing start, leading 12-2 halfway through the opening frame — No doubt it was helped by Riverside’s poor shooting. But a Sammy Shields three from nearly half seemed to wake the Rapids up, and they played better for the rest of the quarter. However, back to back threes from the Spartans gave them an eight point lead after one.
The second was a different story. Tessa Burton of Riverside converted on a nice three point play, and then Sammy Shields finished a one handed lay up off a tipped pass to get the ball rolling. Shields eventually gave them the lead, and then proceeded to go on a 8-0 run. Late in the quarter, an over and back violation proved costly for Claremont as it allowed Riverside to score an easy two points. By the end of the half, the Rapids had turned a eight point hole into a seven point lead.
The third once again provided another twist to this tale. Claremont went on a quick run to make it 46-44, then proceeded to rain down threes on the Rapids — two of which came courtesy of #6.
To add insult to injury, #4 from Claremont drained a half court shot to extend the lead even further. Just like Riverside the quarter before, they had flipped a big hole into a healthy lead for them, from down by seven to up by 12.
But this game decided to give us one last plot twist. After scoring only six points in the third quarter, Riverside was down by 14 early in the fourth quarter. The Rapids then proceeded to score 20 straight points to give them a six point lead. Claremont looked deflated after letting the lead slip away, and although they started to get some offensive, couldn’t get enough stops to close the gap.
Guard Jessica Parker had 30 points for the Rapids, and Sammy Shields finished with 18 points and seven steals. For Claremont, Chloe Scaber had 21 points and six assists, while diminutive guard Marin Abe had 13 points. The Spartans shot 50% from distance, but committed over twice as many turnovers as the rapids.
Written By: Nick Bondi