Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2013, 11:06 pm
Riverdale rolls into tie for Three Rivers lead
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By Aaron Dail, Correspondent
PORT BYRON — Erie tried an active man-to-man defense.
The Lady Cardinals even tried a box-and-1 defense.
Yet, they still couldn't stop Hannah Nimrick.
Riverdale's senior forward made it rain 3-pointers Thursday night, helping the Lady Rams open up a big lead to cruise to an 11th straight girls' basketball victory, 68-31 at Riverdale High School.
Nimrick finished with a game-high 23 points and 16 rebounds, knocking down five long balls in the first half for as many points (19) as the entire Erie team at halftime.
The big win allowed Riverdale (20-2, 10-1) to move into a tie with Prophetstown for the Three Rivers Conference lead with just over a week remaining in the regular season.
"Hannah was going off on us in the first half," said Erie coach Brian Howell, whose Lady Cardinals shot only 12-of-57 from the field on what was just a bad night. "They shot really well but we just couldn't get any shots to fall. Riverdale is playing really good basketball right now and it was a daunting task."
Stopping Nimrick just wasn't in the cards for Erie.
After taking a 19-8 lead after the first quarter, Riverdale exploded to a 22-point halftime lead with Nimrick knocking down a trio of 3-balls in the quarter and scoring 13 of her points.
"She can (get hot like that) and we see it in practice a lot, but she was feeling it tonight," said Riverdale coach Mick Kopriva.
"The last two games the team unity on the floor has been so good. They find the open person and no one is worried about who is scoring. It's fun to watch and they just keep going."
Nimrick got the ball plenty Thursday. She also added five assists and four blocks to her game-best totals.
"We really moved the ball well and that helped me get open," said Nimrick, who didn't seem to notice the monster night she had. "Everybody (on our team) was shocked (by thescore) but we played great defense and we're peaking at the right time. We just need to keep going."
Erie (17-8, 6-5 TRAC-9) started making some baskets in the third quarter with senior Laykin Miner (team-high 11 points, three assists) and freshman Rachel Cobert (four points, team-high eight rebounds) helping cut into the lead.
However, Riverdale finished the quarter strong behind Elle May (13 points, five assists) and junior Lauren Claus, who put up 10 of her 18 points in the second half, and the Lady Rams held a 56-29 edge heading into the final frame.
"It's exciting when we play so well together," said May, who shot 4-for-5 from the field and scored eight points in the third quarter. "We're really playing team oriented and we're passing and all about getting assists."
The Lady Rams finished with 18 assists for the game but Erie couldn't manage a field goal in the final frame and scored just two points, leaving it as a night to forget and move on.
"We have a special season going," Howell said. "We just have to stay focused and keep working hard … And get some shots to fall."