Riverside enjoys historical night

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / Febuary 24, 1999

RESERVE – Riverside ended a nine-game losing streak to St. CharlesCatholic and clinched its first trip to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs with a 82-75 victory in the District 9-2A third- place playoff game Monday night at Reserve Christian.

Riverside had not beaten the Comets since the 1995 season. The win alsoclinched the team’s best record since it joined the LHSAA at 13-15. TheRebels will travel to Patterson for the bi-district playoffs this week.

St. Charles Catholic completed the season at 12-18.The Rebels had to overcome the red-hot shooting of the Comets’ Courtney Bonura to come away with the victory. The senior poured in 40 points inhis final game, including eight 3-pointers. Twenty-one of the points camein the fourth quarter as the Comets tried to rally from a 17-point deficit.

While Bonura was hitting from the outside, Riverside was controlling the action inside the paint. The Rebels took an early 10-5 lead as George Murladrove down the lane.

St. Charles Catholic rallied to take the lead behind two 3-pointers byBonura but Murla found Quinton Terrio inside on an inbounds pass at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 12-11 lead heading into the second quarter.

Bonura gave the Comets their final lead at 13-12 with a tap in early in the second quarter. Two free throws by Paul Labiche gave the Rebels the leadfor good. Murla would find Terrio inside and Labiche would follow byconverting a three-point play after driving the lane to give the Rebels a 25-16 lead with 2:32 left.

Bonura was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to bring the Comets to within eight late in the half.

The Rebels inbounded the ball to Mike Schoen who was trapped in the corner and fouled with 1.4 seconds left. Schoen made the front end of theone-and-one but missed the second. Schoen grabbed the rebound, drovedown the lane and banked in a shot at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 34- 23 lead at the break.

Riverside opened the second half with a 3-pointer by Murla and a drive Keith Leblanc to make it a 16-point game. Terrio’s dunk from the left sidegave the Rebels a 45-29 lead with four minutes remaining.

Put backs by Courtney Baloney and Joseph and a 3-pointer by Bonura brought the Comets to within 15 but Craig Tearney came back with a three-point play with less than a second left to give the Rebels a 59-42 lead.

Bonura kept the Comets in the game, scoring the team’s first eight points of the quarter to cut the deficit to 61-50. A 3-pointer by Bonura broughtthe Comets to within seven with 3:42 left but Murla came up with a 3- pointer from the left corner to make it 72-61. A 3-pointer by Joseph madeit 78-72 with 26 seconds left but Terrio, Labiche and Tearney hit four of six free throws down the stretch.

“They were a little more hungry than we were at the beginning,”

St.Charles Catholic coach Phillip Cavell said. “We made a run but 17 down inthe last quarter is a long way to go.”Paul Labiche led the Rebels with 25 points. Terrio tossed in 17 pointswhile Tearney had 16 and Murla 15.

“It is hard to describe,” Labiche said of the victory. “The plan was to bangit inside. In the other games we didn’t bang it inside that much but thisgame coach told us to bang it in low. That was what we wanted to do.”Riverside coach John White gave credit to his team’s defense, especially in the first half. White said the plan was to force the Comets to hit fromthe outside while going down low on offense. But he said the difference inthe game was the team’s seniors – Terrio, Leblanc, Murla and Labiche.

“Our four seniors have gone through hardships here and they were determined not to go through it again,” White said. “That was thedifference right there.”

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