NEOSHO, Mo. — The Three Rivers women's basketball team completed the first leg of the Region XVI season unbeaten with another commanding win Monday night
The Raiders sank a season-high 18 shots from 3-point range and turned in another defensive gem in beating Crowder 94-46 on the road.
The win kept Three Rivers atop the region standings and set up a rematch with second-place Moberly Area on Wednesday night.
"Told the girls to enjoy this until we walk out of the locker room and now that we're on the bus headed home, we got to start thinking about and start preparing for Moberly on Wednesday," Raiders coach Alex Wiggs said.
The Raiders (9-0, 5-0 XVI) moved up two spots in the NJCAA Division I rankings to No. 13 on Monday. Moberly Area, which lost to Three Rivers 57-54 on Feb. 20, follows at No. 14 while only second-ranked Jones (Miss.), No. 6 Casper (Wyo.) and No. 9 Butler (Kan.) are also unbeaten.
Three Rivers hosts Moberly Area at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
"We just got to make sure that we're mentally prepared, ready to go," Wiggs said.
The Raiders shook off a slow start Monday night after not scoring over the first 3 minutes, 25 seconds. They finished the opening quarter on an 18-2 run to lead 18-7.
Three Rivers doubled its lead in the span of 3 1/2 minutes in the second quarter, scoring 11 straight as part of a 16-3 run. The Raiders led 45-17 at halftime, holding an opponent to under 20 in the first half for a third time this season.
"A big difference was that first quarter we were forcing them into turnovers but it wasn't turnovers necessarily that we could get going (into transition)," Wiggs said.
Chaylea Mosby and Hya Haywood each scored 19 points with five 3-points apiece to lead the Raiders. Autumn Dodd added 14 points with four 3-pointers and Myia Yelder chipped in 12 points sinking a pair of 3s.
Jonisha Rolle led Crowder (5-6, 3-2) with 12 points, half coming in the third quarter.
Three Rivers scored the first 14 points of the second half and led by 42 when Crowder finally scored after four minutes. Rolle's basket at the 5:15 mark was Crowder's first field goal of the second half.
"When we're at our best is when our defense leads to easy baskets. We started getting easy baskets as far as layups and then that opened up the easy transition 3s," Wiggs said.
By halftime, the Raiders had scored 22 points off 20 Crowder turnovers.
Three Rivers came into the game leading the nation in steals at 20.3 per game and in the top-five for opponents' field goals (fourth) and points allowed (third). The Raiders also rank third in points per game (88.0).
In their first five region games, the Raiders won by an average of 32.6 points.
"Tonight was 100% just team basketball," Wiggs said. "Everybody did their job. We had some that made shots. We did really, really well getting after them."
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic