Lady Devils get swept by RCTC
State tournament hopes grew slimmer for the Riverland women's basketball team after Saturday's loss to Rochester Community and Technical College.
A five-point lead at halftime didn't last for the Lady Blue Devils of Riverland. The visiting RCTC Yellowjackets rallied in the second half for an 85-78 win and a sweep of the season series.
Krissy Schemmel made four three-pointers in the first half to spark the Lady Devils to the early lead. They then built the lead to 11 points in the opening three minutes of the second half.
Joni Lillo made a pair of free throws to give the Lady Devils a 52-41 lead with 17 minutes to play. RCTC followed with a 13-0 run to take the lead. It stayed close the rest of the way, but the Lady Devils couldn't keep pace in the loss.
"We gave up too many points in the second half and didn't stay focused on defense," Riverland coach Suzy Hebrink said. "Krissy coudn't miss in the first half, but then the whole team struggled in the second half. We couldn't buy a bucket during that key stretch."
Robin Arjes finally ended the RCTC with a basket to tie the game for the last time with 13 minutes left. The deficit hovered around four points for a few minutes, then RCTC began to pull away.
Led by the inside scoring of Aly Meyer, game-high 31 points, and the outside shooting of Brittni Mayer, 22 points, the visitors built the lead.
The deficit had reached 73-61 with 5:47 to play, when the Lady Devils made some inroads. A steal from Krista Viehauser lead to a lay-up for Schemmel. Joni Lillo followed with a basket for the home team.
Makenzie Martin made a pair of free throws to bring the Lady Devils with six points with three minutes left. Viehauser later hit a basket to make it a five-point game with a minute left, but the Lady Devils ran out of time.
"The kids battled, but we couldn't stop Meyer on the inside," Hebrink said. "Foul trouble hurt us and we put them on the line 43 times. This loss pretty much sealed our fate in terms of making it to the state tournament."
With the loss, the Lady Devils fell to a 3-7 record in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division. RCTC (4-6) would have to lose its final two games and Riverland would have to win both in order to sneak into state.
RCTC 85, Riverland 78
Aly Meyer 31, Brittni Mayer 22, Desirae Lee 12, Lane Gehl 6, Victoria Ledahl 5, Megan Fleming 5, Cortney Kasten 2, Rachel Tate 2.
Krissy Schemmel 18, Krista Viehauser 17, Brooke Rosenstiel 15, Joni Lillo 13, Makenzie Martin 10, Robin Arjes 3, Danyel Hythecker 2.
Halftime:RIV 42, RCTC 37.
Free throws:RCTC 33-43, RIV 23-28.
Three-point goals:RCTC 4-15 (Mayer 3, Gehl 1). RIV 5-16 (Schemmel 4, Lillo 1).
Fouled out:RIV, Schemmel, Martin, Lillo, Arjes.