Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 1998

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / March 4, 1998

LAPLACE – The Ascension of Our Lord Crusaders held off a late rally by Riverside to capture the River Parishes Catholic League boys basketball championship tournament at St. Charles Catholic Saturday afternoon, 41-38.

Jason Waguespack led the Crusaders with 15 points. Shannon Graver andKevin Blank chipped in with six points apiece.

Riverside was led by Tim Brignac, who scored a game-high 16 points.

Brett Bergeron tossed in 11 points and had three 3-pointers, while Scott Poirrier added seven points.

The Crusaders, the league runners-up, defeated St. Charles Borromeo toreach the championship game. Riverside, the league champions, advancedwith a victory over Sacred Heart.

Ascension of Our Lord led 35-23 heading into the fourth quarter and took a 37-25 advantage with 4:30 left on a put back by Tim Treas. Riverside thenbegan its comeback with two free throws by Seth Johnson and a layup by Brignac, cutting the deficit to 37-29 with 3:36 remaining.

The Crusaders answered with a drive by Derrick Gaubert, but Riverside responded with two free throws by Brignac and put backs by Poirrier and Brett Bergeron to cut the deficit to 39-35 with 1:51 left. The Rebelslooked to pull closer as Johnson grabbed a steal, but Blank was able to get back to come away with a block.

Waguespack hit the first of two free throws to increase the lead to five with 36 seconds left. Bergeron came back on the Rebels’ ensuingpossession to bury a 3-pointer from the left side, bringing Riverside to within two with nine seconds left.

Gaubert was fouled on the inbounds pass and made the second of two free throws to give the Crusaders a 41-38 lead. The Rebels got the ballupcourt, but Bergeron’s 3-point attempt from the left corner was blocked by Waguespack. Waguespack grabbed the ball and was fouled. Waguespack missed both free throws and the rebound was held to Riverside, but Brignac’s desperation attempt from beyond midcourt banged off the backboard at the buzzer.

Riverside scored the first points of the game as Poirrier grabbed a rebound and took it the distance. Ascension of Our Lord bounced back,scoring the next 10 points of the game as Johnson buried a 3-pointer and Waguespack scored on a three-point play. Blank knocked down a jumperfrom the free throw line, giving the Crusaders a 10-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Riverside cut the deficit to 12-6 on two drives by Brignac to open the second quarter. The Crusaders then used their defense to score sixunanswered points. Waguespack grabbed a steal at midcourt and took it infor a layup. Treas followed with another steal, passing to Waguespack onthe baseline. Waguespack added another steal, taking it in to increase theCrusaders’ lead to 18-6. After Travis Billings found Dexter Falgout cuttingunderneath for the Rebels, Treas hit a jumper from the left baseline to give the Crusaders a 20-8 halftime lead.

After Graver opened the second half with a jumper, Bergeron rallied the Rebels with back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the deficit to 22-14.

Ascension of Our Lord answered with a steal and layup by Chance Blank and a 3-pointer by Waguespack to grab a 13-point cushion.

Brignac drove in from the left side for a short jumper and Poirrier added a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to cut the deficit to 33-23. TheCrusaders responded with a jump shot by Kevin Blank to take a 12-point cushion into the final quarter.

In earlier action, St. Charles Borromeo defeated the St. Joan of Arc Blueteam for the junior varisty championship.

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