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Best of the Best

L’Observateur / March 28, 1998

Louis was one of the most exciting players in the River Parishes to watch.

An outstanding scorer, Louis could toss it down from almost anywhere on the court. But it was on the break that he was at his best, finishing upwith slams that brought the Rams’ crowd to its feet and electrified his teammates.

Louis was the player the Rams often looked to when they needed a key basket. And time and time again, Louis stepped up to the occasion as wasseen in the Rams’ bi-district playoff game against Newman. Trailing 32-30 late in the third quarter, Louis scored six straight points to give the Rams the lead for good. His 14 points led the team as it advanced to theregionals with a 50-43 victory.

A week earlier, Louis led the Rams to the District 9-2A championship by scoring 25 points against West St. John. That kind of performance wastypical for Louis who led the team with 22.3 points per game. The All-district 9-2A selection also did it on the boards, pulling down 9.8rebounds a game.

Antoine Edwards Coach of the Year West St. John

Because of West St. John’s success in the state football playoffs, Edwardsdid not have his whole team together until late December. Then it was amatter of the players getting into basketball shape.

But Edwards kept the team together the whole time and the progress of the Rams could be seen from practice to practice, game to game. By thetime district rolled around, the Rams were beginning to jell. A 9-1 recordlater, the Rams were the District 9-2A champions.

The Rams then defeated Newman in the bi-district playoffs, sending them to the regional playoffs for the second time in 18 years. And though theRams fell to McCall in the regionals, it could not take away from a memorable season that saw the Rams become one of the top 10 teams in the state in Class 2A.

Clement Carter East St. JohnJunior Guard

Clement was one of the top all-around players in the area. He averaged15.2 points per game in 1997-98, shooting 56.5 percent from the field and36.5 percent from 3-point range. The second team All-District 6-5Aselection did it on defense as well, blocking 29 shots and averaging two steals a game. His versatility allowed him to play almost every positionon the court for the Wildcats.

Marlon Jackson West St. JohnSophomore Center

Jackson was the Rams man in the middle. The All-District 9-2A selectiondominated play inside, averaging 11.3 points and 11 rebounds per game. Anexceptional leaper, Jackson also was the one who started the Rams high- octane offense after grabbing a rebound.

Jackson’s put-back ability allowed him to score one of the Rams’ biggest baskets of the season in the season-finale against St. Charles Catholic.With the District 9-2A title on the line, putting back a miss by Donreil Louis to start a three-point play late in the game. That play gave the Ramsan eight-point lead and momentum as they went on to a 89-72 victory that clinched the district title.

Elijah Jasmine West St. JohnJunior Guard

Jasmine, a transfer from Archbishop Shaw, was the Rams’ quarterback on the floor. An exceptional ballhandler and passer, Jasmine averaged ateam-high 10 assists a game. He could shoot the rock himself, averaging17.6 points per game in being named to the All-District 9-2A squad.Jasmine was also a clutch player as he demonstrated in the Rams’ playoff game against Newman. With the Rams holding a 44-40 lead with twominutes left, Jasmine grabbed a steal, drove downcourt and passed to Adair Alexander underneath to build the lead to six. He then sealed thevictory by making three of four free throws in the final 18 seconds.

Charles Jones Lutcher Senior Center

Jones was one of the most dominate big men in the River Parishes and was the Bulldogs’ go-to man in the paint. The 6-4 senior led the team and wassecond in the metro area in Class 3A with a 20.2 points per game average.Jones also did it on the boards, pulling down an average of 14 rebounds per game. He was selected to the All-District 10-3A first team after helpinglead the Bulldogs to a 17-10 overall record.

Credere Joseph St. Charles CatholicJunior Guard

Joseph ran the show for the Comets, leading the team in assists with 4.9per game. He picked up his scoring in district, averaging 8.9 points pergame for the season. Joseph was also a ballhawk on defense, finishingsecond on the team with 1.7 steals a game. Comets coach Philip Cavellcalled Joseph the ideal point guard, a good penetrator who saw the floor well.

Robert Joseph East St. JohnSenior Center

Joseph excelled on the court and in the classroom. He played center thispast season but his range allowed him to step out to the perimeter as well. Joseph averaged 15.3 points per game by shooting 51.4 percent fromthe field and also grabbed five rebounds a contest. He was a honorablemention All-District 6-5A selection this past season.

Keith LeBlanc Riverside Junior Guard

LeBlanc was the Rebels’ floor leader in 1997-98. He led the team in everyoffensive category except rebounds, averaging 11.4 points and 4.2 assistsper game. LeBlanc was also an exceptional free throw shooter, making 80percent of his shots, and could do it on the defensive end as well, leading the team in steals. He was named to the All-District 9-2A team for thesecond year in a row.

Chris Oney St. Charles CatholicSenior Forward

Oney was one of the most prolific scorers in the River Parishes in his years with the Comets and 1997-98 was no different. Oney led the teamand was fifth in the metro area in Class 2A with 18.6 points per game. Hestepped it up when it counted, scoring 21.9 points per game in districtaction.

Oney could score from almost anywhere on the court but was most effective slashing inside. Besides scoring, he also led the Comets inrebounds with 6.9 per game and in block shots with 1.2 a contest. He alsofinished second in assists with 3.1 a game. Price was an All-District 9-2A selection after helping lead the Comets to the state playoffs.

John Price St. Charles CatholicJunior Guard

Price and Oney formed a dangerous combination for the Comets. Price wasan exceptional ballhandler who could pass off or take the ball inside himself.

Price was second on the team with 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.He also did the job on the defensive end of the court, leading the team in steals with 1.8 a game. Price was selected to the All-District 9-2A team after averaging 13.3points in district.

Demond Richard Destrehan Senior Guard

Richard was selected as the Wildcats’ most valuable player by his teammates. He led the team in scoring with 15 points a game and wassecond in rebounds with five per contest. An outstanding jumper, Richardjumped center for the Wildcats and lost only one tip-off despite being only 5-11. The honorable mention All-District 6-5A selection was alsoone of the best defenders on the squad, averaging 2.5 steals a game.

Aaron Vogel Reserve Christian Sophomore Forward

Vogel was one of the key reasons why the Eagles advanced to the finals of the Louisiana Christian Schools Athletic Association this past season.

A very serious basketball player and dedicated worker, Vogel averaged 18 points and six rebounds a game during the 1997-98 season.

“He plays hard and has a very good touch on the ball,” coach Timmy Byrd said.

Vogel stayed hot in the playoffs, leading the team with 18 points in the Eagles’ victory over Lafayette Christian in the semifinals and scoring 13 points in the finals against Northside Christian. Vogel will be one that theEagles will count on as they move into the LHSAA next season.

Corey Webster St. JamesSophomore Guard

St. James has had a tradition of great basketball players over the years.So when coach Lionel Ezidore called Webster one of the best basketball players he has had in a long time, you have an idea of what kind of player he is. Webster led the young Wildcats to a 6-14 record, averaging 20points per game and really stepped up during district according to Ezidore.

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