Riverside’s depleted girls basketball roster came up with a 54-38 nonconference victory Tuesday against Green Hope, but it likely won’t stand after what was discovered following a 20-minute delay to the start of the second half. Referees reviewed the JV and varsity scorebooks and found that Riverside coach Alicia Jones played Ashauntee Nelson two quarters in the JV game and one quarter by halftime of the varsity game.
This breaks the N.C. High School Athletic Association rule that sets a one-game-per-day limit.
Once reported to the NCHSAA, the Riverside (currently 6-0) win will have to be forfeited, giving Green Hope (5-2) another victory.
Nelson, who didn’t score in the varsity game, wasn’t permitted to play in the second half. Jones said she understood the rule to allow an athlete to play a combined four quarters in the JV or varsity games.
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“If I’m wrong, I need a rules clarification,” Jones said. “I don’t want anyone thinking I was trying to cheat.”
Green Hope coach John D’Agostin said he wouldn’t file a protest. Nonetheless, his team will be given a win.
“As far as I’m concerned, they beat us on the court,” he said.
Riverside’s talented girls basketball roster was expected to provide an interesting test for Green Hope, but Riverside was without two injured starters and a third starter’s minutes were limited by a bout with the flu. Meanwhile, Green Hope also was without an injured starter.
On both benches, the teams were without their top player.
Riverside 6-foot-3 senior Mone’ Jones, who is committed to Virginia and ranked by ESPN as the No. 33 player in the nation, was held out for precautionary reasons after she hit her head on the floor in the Pirates’ last game. The other injured starter sidelined was Yakima Clifton, while starter Atlanta Woodall came off the bench. She contributed two points in limited playing time.
Green Hope was without starting sophomore point guard Kelly Fitzgerald, who hopes to return Friday from a sprained ankle.
Riverside’s Aminata Johnson, a 6-2 sophomore, replaced Jones and finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ariel Wilson, a junior, played her usual sixth-man role and provided a spark after the Pirates’ slow start in the first quarter. She finished with 11 points.
“I felt a responsibility to respond and help my team,” Wilson said. “But I mised having my teammates out there and the chemistry we play with.”
Green Hope took a 16-13 lead in the first quarter, but Riverside switched to a man defense and the Falcons had trouble getting shots without Fitzgerald on the floor.
Sophomore Rachel Argabright led the Falcons with 13 points and senior Brandi Mosser added 11.