FORT DEFIANCE — Riverheads fought off a furious fourth-quarter rally by Fort Defiance on Friday night to defeat the Indians, 39-35, in Shenandoah District girls basketball.

The homestanding Indians battled from a 31-20 deficit at the end of the third quarter to cut the margin to 2 points at one juncture. Riverheads center Berkeley Tyree sealed the result with a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left.

The victory for Riverheads raised its record to 6-3 overall, and 2-0 in Shenandoah District play. Fort Defiance fell to 7-2 overall, and 1-1 in district play.

Riverheads Coach Preston Woods called win important, and said of Fort Defiance, “they are a well-coached team and a good team.” Tyree led all scorers with 19 points.

Woods said it was important “to get the ball to the big kid (Tyree). She has more potential than she realizes.” Woods said he told his team “to stay poised” throughout the night.

Fort Coach Patrick Hartley said Riverheads used “their physicality” to cause problems for his team. He said Tyree’s size presented problems for his team, because all of Fort’s players are of a similar size. He said this part of the season is toughest.

“It is a grind and a long season, but the middle part (now) is the hardest part," Hartley said.

Hartley was proud of his team’s comeback in the fourth quarter.

“We left it all out on the floor,” he said.

Tyree’s three-point play and a follow shot got Riverheads off to a fast 5-2 lead in the first quarter.Fort guard Kiersten Ransome hit a three-pointer in the final moments of the first half to cut the Riverheads lead to 19-15.

The Indians struggled to score in the third quarter. But Fort rallied in the early moments of the fourth quarter. Guard Brianna Allen hit for 6 points in the first two minutes to slice into the Riverheads lead at 33-29. But Riverheads held on.

Ransome led the Indians with 16 points, while Allen chipped in eight.

Hannah Grubb had eight points for Riverheads.

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