By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
CARBONDALE – Riverside made it clear very early that it was not going to give Mid Valley a shot at pulling off an upset when the weather-delayed District 2 Class 3A girls basketball tournament got underway Thursday night.
The Lady Vikes scored eight points before allowing the Spartanettes to attempt their first shot of the quarterfinal game at the Peter Turonis Memorial Gymnasium.
Riverside cruised from there, holding Mid Valley to 10 points in the first half while getting 17 points from Alese Karpinski and a double-double from Emily Taylor in a 50-30 romp.
“Going inside was key,” said Taylor, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead a 32-22 advantage on the boards. “We’re a lot bigger than them, so by getting the ball in to Kayla Rose and Alese Karpinski, they were dominant inside.”
Riverside, the third seed, uses the win to advance into Saturday’s semifinal at King’s College at 2:30 against second-seeded Holy Redeemer. The Lady Royals (22-3) and Lady Vikes (19-4) are also ranked second and third among all District 2 Small Schools in the Astra Wealth Advisors Super Six Power Rankings.
Lady Vikes coach Jack Mekilo praised his team for the way it continues to share the ball. Kayla Rose had six assists while Julia Antoniacci had five.
Bella McKeefery made four steals, Antoniacci had three and Rose blocked two shots to lead the defensive effort.
Emily Morano led Mid Valley with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots.
Mid Valley got within 12-7 before Riverside ran off seven straight points in the last minute of the quarter, which they ended by getting a second chance off a rebound and turning it into a Karpinski 3-pointer.
The Lady Vikes picked their spots, going 5-for-8 on 3-point attempts, including 4-for-6 by Taylor.
“We were making a lot of layups so they had to collapse inside and that opened up the perimeter,” Taylor said.
Riverside outscored Mid Valley 10-1 over the final 6:52 of the second quarter for a 29-10 halftime lead.
Morano opened the second half with a three-point play, but that was the closest Mid Valley got.
Riverside scored the next nine points and coasted in from there.