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RESERVE CHRISTIAN REACHES FINALS OF LCSAA TOURNEY

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / March 16, 1998

RESERVE – The Reserve Eagles capped off their last season in the Louisiana Christian Schools Athletic Association on a high note, placing second in the state tournament in Baton Rouge the last weekend of February.

The Eagles defeated Lafayette Christian Academy in the semifinals, 51- 44, before falling to Northside Christian, 62-45, in the finals. ReserveChristian will move up the Louisiana High School Athletic Association next season and compete in Class B.

Both contests were close throughout. Lafayette had beaten ReserveChristian twice during the season, the second time pretty handily. But theEagles changed their strategy during the state tournament, going from a man-to-man and zone pressure defense to a 1-3-1 zone.

“The players played it flawlessly,” Reserve Christian coach Timmy Byrd said. “Lafayette had a hard time getting good shots. We kept them awayfrom the basket and didn’t let their size affect us.”Byrd credited Jonathan Newman and Jared Simoneaux for stepping up and helping the Eagles dominate in the paint offensively and defensively.

“Jonathan and Jared brought a toughness to the game that we didn’t have in the past,” Byrd said.

Aaron Vogel was on track again, hitting for a team-high 18 points. CliffVogel tossed in eight points and also dominated inside, grabbing seven rebounds.

Newman also had eight points, including two crucial 3-pointers.

Simoneaux came off the bench to score seven points and grab seven rebounds.

“We played physically and smart and that is why we were able to come out victorious,” Byrd said.

Reserve Christian stayed close the following day against Northside and were within four with less than four minutes left to play.

But the effects of playing an emotional and physical game the night before began to show as the Eagles committed seven straight turnovers, allowing Northside to grab a 10-point lead in the final minutes.

The Eagles were forced to foul but Northside hit its shots down the stretch to seal the victory.

“We played a real sound game in the first half,” Byrd said. “We held theirtop scorer who was averaging 22 points a game to no points in the first half and two points in the third quarter.

“We had a legitimate shot to win but we lost a step. We got physicallytired and that was the difference in the game. But I was very pleased withthe effort and character the team showed.”Mike Carriere led the Eagles with 18 points. Aaron Vogel chipped in with13 points while Simoneaux contributed seven rebounds.

The Eagles finished their final season in the LCSAA with a 16-7 record overall despite having a young team. The Eagles had two seniors and ajunior on a sophomore-dominate team.

“I am pleased with the development of the younger players and the character the team showed throughout the year,” Byrd said.

“This was a good stepping stone to move us into the LHSAA next year. It isa solid foundation in which we can work from.

“We played well enough and hard enough to get us in a position to win it all,” Byrd continued.” I can only be pleased and happy. I am proud of theattitude and character the kids displayed.”

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