All-River Parishes Boys Basketball Team

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 3, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / April 3, 1999

Reserve Christian had a memorable first season in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, winning its district and advancing to the Top 28 tournament in Lafayette. Helping lead the Eagles to the semifinals wasL’Observateur’s River Parishes MVP, Eric McClain and Coach of the Year Timmy Byrd.

Eric McClain Reserve Christian Junior Guard Most Valuable Player

“Eric was one of those guys who does whatever it takes to put us in a position to win.”Those were the words of McClain’s coach Timmy Byrd. Byrd said McClainled the Eagles in whatever category the team needed him to. The juniorguard averaged 16 points and 4.5 assists per game to lead the Eagles thispast season. He could also get the job done on defense, leading the team insteals with 167 and finishing third with 29 blocked shots. McClain alsoadded six rebounds a game.

But Byrd said McClain’s contribution to the team was not just about stats.

Byrd said he was very much a competitor and a quiet leader who will continue to work to get better.

“He has been a pleasure to coach,” Byrd said. “You look for a guy who iscoachable and is a hard worker. That is the definition of a winner and Ericembodied those characteristics.”McClain was selected as the District 13-B MVP and was recently named to the Class B all-State second team.

Timmy Byrd Reserve Christian Coach of the Year

Not too many expected Reserve Christian to do much in its first season in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. After all, the Eagles werefacing a schedule that included Family Christian, Parkview Baptist, Riverside and St. Charles Catholic. That was not counting a districtschedule against the likes of Mt. Hermon and Maurepas.But the Eagles exceeded all expectations, capturing the District 13-B title and advancing to the state playoffs. Along the way, Reserve Christian wonon the road at both Mt. Hermon and Maurepas. The Eagles then rolledthrough the first three rounds of the playoffs, becoming the first River Parishes team in 13 years to make the Top 28 tournament. Eventual statechampion Gibsland-Coleman ended the Eagles’ season in the semifinals.

But the loss did not take away the fond memory Reserve Christian had of the season. The season capped a four-year turnaround that saw the Eaglesbecome one of the best teams in the state.

Leading the turnaround was Byrd, now in his fourth season at the school.

Byrd had the Eagles prepared for the season by attending summer camp and saw them get better as the season went on.

Courtney Bonura St. Charles CatholicSenior Guard

Bonura was one of the purest shooters in the area. The senior guard put ona shooting clinic in the Comets’ loss to Riverside in the District 9-2A third place playoff game, pouring in 40 points including eight 3-pointers.

Twenty-one of the points came in the fourth quarter as he tried to lead the team back. An all-District 9-2A and all-Metro selection, Bonuraaveraged 15.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Deshawn Burham St. JamesSenior Guard

Burham made the all-District 10-3A second team in 1998-99 after averaging 18.5 points per game and helping lead the Wildcats to theregional playoffs. St. James coach Lionel Ezidore called Burham a goodteam player as well as a good rebounder and shooter. The senior guardscored 25 points in the Wildcats’ victory over Parkview Baptist in the bi- district playoffs and added a team-high 24 against Landry in the regionals.

Clement Carter East St. JohnSenior Forward

Carter has been one of the best players in the River Parishes throughout his high school career. One of the area’s best shooters, he averaged over21 points per game in 1998-99. Recruited by colleges throughout thecountry, he recently verbally committed to Southern Mississippi.

Travis Davis Lutcher Senior Guard

Davis, a quick and athletic player, was named to the all-District 10-3A first team this past season.

Elijah Jasmine West St. JohnSenior Guard

Jasmine played a lot of Rams this past season and was the team’s best ball handler. West St. John coach Antoine Edwards said Jasmine did a goodjob of penetrating the lane and could also hit from the outside. The all-District 9-2A selection averaged 16.5 points and seven assists per gamethis past season.

Credere Joseph St. Charles CatholicSenior Guard

Joseph combined with Bonura to give the Comets the bulk of their scoring.

An all-District 9-2A and all-Metro selection, Joseph led the team with 21.6 points per game. His slashing style also opened up opportunities forhis teammates and he averaged 4.6 assists per game.

Keith LeBlanc Riverside Senior Guard

Riverside coach John White called LeBlanc a very unselfish player. Thehonorable mention all-District 9-2A selection helped the Rebels to the bi- district playoffs, averaging 12.5 points per game in 1998-99. LeBlanc wasalso the Rebels’ best defensive player and one of its best ball handlers.

Donriel Louis West St. JohnJunior Forward

Louis was one of the most electrifying players in the area this season.

L’Observa-teur’s River Parishes MVP a year ago, Louis did not lose a step this season, averaging 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Louis couldlight it up from the wing or in the low post in being named to the all- District 9-2A team.

Matt McGee Reserve Christian Sophomore Forward

Byrd called McGee the team’s unsung player, a hardworking and dedicated athlete. McGee was one of the main reasons the Eagles were able to pulldown 35.5 rebounds per game, averaging a team-high 8.8 rebounds acontest. McGee also provided a defensive presence inside, blocking 49shots and coming away with 86 steals. He also added 9.6 points per game. Brett Simon Destrehan Senior Guard

Destrehan coach Mike McNamara said Simon was one of the best pure shooters in District 6-5A. The Wildcats’ go-to player, Simon was also theteam’s best ball handler. On defense, he was called on to guard a variety ofplayers, from post players to guards. An honorable mention all-Districtselection, Simon averaged 12 points a game his senior season.

Quinton Terrio Riverside Senior Center

Terrio overcame an injury that caused him to miss the 1997-98 season to give the Rebels the body inside that they had been missing. His returnhelped the Rebels to their first ever playoff appearance in the LHSAA.

A great leader and tremendous athlete according to White, Terrio averaged 16.4 points per game in being named to the all-District 9-2A team.

Aaron Vogel Reserve Christian Junior Guard

Byrd called Vogel the spiritual leader of the team. Vogel possessed realgood offensive skills and was also a very unselfish player. Byrd said Vogelstepped up at the end of the season and did the little things that allowed the team to reach the state semifinals.

An all-District 13-B selection, Vogel averaged 15.7 points and twoassists per game. He also led the team with 92 3-pointers and was secondwith 111 steals.

Corey Webster St. JamesJunior Guard

Webster was one of the area’s best ball handlers, helping the Wildcats to a 17-8 record and a berth in the regional playoffs. Webster led the Wildcatswith 27 points in their upset of two-time defending state champion Parkview in the bi-district playoffs.

The junior guard was a good all-around player as well as floor leader, according to Ezidore. Webster was an all-District 10-3A selection afteraveraging 24.8 points per game in 1998-99 and was named to the Class 3Aall-State honorable mention team recently.

Roydell Williams East St. JohnJunior Forward

Williams has been a versatile player for the Wildcats, also playing for the football and baseball teams. The junior forward could hit from inside oroutside, averaging 19 points per game in being named to the all-District 6-5A team.

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