Comets halt three-game slide

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / Febuary 17, 1999

LAPLACE – St. Charles Catholic broke a three-game losing streak andstayed in the playoff race with a 64-58 victory at home over Riverside Friday night.

St. Charles Catholic improved to 11-16 overall and 4-4 in District 9-2A tomove into third place with two games to go. The third place finisher in thedistrict automatically qualifies for the playoffs. Riverside fell to 10-15overall and 3-5 in district play.

Credere Joseph had 25 points and Courtney Bonura added 23 for the Comets. Quinton Terrio led Riverside with 20 points with Craig Tearneytossing in 12 points and Keith Leblanc contributing 11.

Riverside took a 40-39 lead into the fourth quarter. Bonura gave theComets the lead with a drive along the left baseline and Joseph added a three-point play on a drive down the lane to make it 44-40. A 3-pointerfrom the right side by Bonura made it 47-42 with 6:10 remaining, A drive by Paul Labiche brought the Rebels to within 50-47. The Cometsextended their lead back to 54-47 as Mike Mustian hit three of four free throws and Bonura added two with 3:04 remaining. Riverside came back tomake it 55-52 with 2:07 remaining on a jumper by Tearney and a 3- pointer from the left corner by Leblanc.

Joseph drove in for a layup on the Comets’ next trip down the court.

Steven Washington then grabbed a steal and was fouled, hitting the second free throw to make it 58-52.

Leblanc brought the Rebels to within 60-58 with a jumper from the free throw line with 31 seconds left but Joseph was fouled on the next possession and hit both free throws.

John Mitchell then grabbed a rebound on the Rebels’ next trip down the court and found Joseph downcourt. Joseph was stripped of the ball byLeblanc while going up for the layup but found Brandon Broussard on the inbounds pass for a turnaround jumper, making it 64-58 with 14 seconds left.

St. Charles Catholic coach Philip Cavell said his team’s ability to hit itsfree throws and win the battle on the boards was the difference in the game.

“They tried to put us at the free throw line and see if we could hit our shots and we were able to,” Cavell said.

“I thought a key was we were able to control the defensive boards and were able to keep them from getting easy baskets and putbacks.

“It was big. When you go 0-3, you need to win one. And with a game withthis much emotion, it feels pretty good.”For Riverside, it was the third close loss in a week.

“They executed down the stretch,” Riverside coach John White said. “Theymade their free throws and forced us into some bad shots at the end.”After St. Charles Catholic jumped out to a 9-4 lead on a 3-pointer byBonura and a layup by Joseph, George Murla found Scottey Manson open underneath at the buzzer to make it 13-12 at the end of the first quarter.

The Comets had an 8-0 run to end the half with Mitchell grabbing a rebound and driving in to make it 27-22 at the break.

Three-pointers by Tearney and Leblanc brought the Rebels to within 32-29 early in the third quarter. After a jumper by Courtney Baloney, Leblancfound Terrio on an alley-oop and Labiche hit a jumper to bring the Rebels to within one.

Terrio put the Rebels ahead with a put back and then took a pass from Murla inside to make it 40-36. Joseph would hit three of four free throwsin the final minute to make it 40-39 going into the final quarter.

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