By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon
PERRY TOWNSHIP —
In the future, people will remember the 2012-13 Riverside girls basketball campaign for the major strides the Beavers took as a program, and for its winning record. It’s likely that the disappointing way it ended won’t be in the forefront of the minds of very many.
Riverside saw its season come to and end on Wednesday in Division I sectional semifinal play with a 64-52 loss to Mayfield in a game played at Perry.
“We have six seniors who we’re going to miss a lot,” Riverside coach Brindi Kandel said. “They gave a good effort, but they didn’t do enough to deserve to win this game offensively or defensively. Mayfield did a great job, and we didn’t do a good job taking things away from them that we had practiced.”
On offense, the fifth-seeded Wildcats (14-9) were able to penetrate to set up much of their scoring. On defense, they concentrated on post Katie Klingman, and limited her to three points and four rebounds, although she did block three shots.
Lexi Parsons scored 24 points for the seventh-seeded Beavers, who finish the season at 12-11.
“We played well,” Mayfield coach Tony Ware said. “Defensively, we did exactly what we wanted to do – kept (Klingman) out of the game.”
“They did a really good job sending an extra girl or two at (Klingman),” Kandel said. “And it really kind of clogged the middle up so we weren’t able to get into an offensive flow. But Lexi did a nice job of stepping up. We just fell short.”
Madison Snider had a strong inside game for Mayfield with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and added four thefts. Guard Shannon Zajec and point guard Halle Rubino (4 steals) showed their ability to penetrate the defense off the dribble, and scored 16 and 11 points respectively.
“When we play well, we’re attacking the basket – always,” Ware said. “I told the kids, ‘If you take a 3 and miss it, the next shot, you’d better be touching some metal.’”
“I thought really all their guards did a good job (penetrating), but especially Rubino,” Kandel said. She did a nice job of breaking us down off the dribble and getting to the basket. We practiced for her, but once you get in the game, it’s up to the girls to execute. So we could have done a little bit better job on the perimeter players overall.”
Though none of their starters stand taller than 5-foot-8, the Wildcats controlled the boards, 48-26, including 16 team rebounds. They made 26 of 58 field goals for 44.8 percent. They went 17 of 31 in the first half while turning the ball over just five times in building a 38-25 lead.
The Beavers ran off eight straight points to turn a 14-7 deficit into a 15-14 edge. However, that would be the only time they would hold the lead.
After the first quarter ended in a 17-all tie, Mayfield outscored Riverside 21-8 in the second period. Included was a 9-0 streak that stretched the margin from 27-23 to 36-23. The lead stayed at 11 points or more the rest of the way, and reached 18 three times in the third quarter.
Megan Carabotta scored 11 points for Riverside, and teammate Kortlyn Carr put in seven of her nine points in the first frame.
D.J. Williams had nine points and Kylie Tritt four assists for the Wildcats.
Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.