Hot-shooting Dubach rolls past Eagles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 19, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / March 19, 2000

LAFAYETTE – The news started off bad and got worse for Reserve Christian Thursday.

Senior forward Addison Ellis, one of the Eagles’ key components, went down with an ankle sprain in a shoot-around in the morning. That evening, Dubachrallied from an early 12-4 deficit to defeat the Eagles, 96-80, in the Class B semifinals.

Dubach (29-10) advances to play top-ranked Florien in the Class B finals today at 2 p.m. Florien defeated Lacassine, 74-71, Wednesday. ReserveChristian finished its season at 40-8.

Edmond Weathersby, playing his final game with the Eagles, had a team-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds and four steals. Eric McClain contributed15 points and four rebounds. Aaron Vogel had 13 points to close out his prepcareer. Larry Smith, another senior, had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with11 points.

Fredericko Payne was the Hornet that stung Reserve Christian the most Thursday night, pouring in a game-high 33 points. Cedrick Jenkins had 19points and five steals. Joey Armstrong contributed 16 points while ScottieHendricks had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Dubach shot 54.7percent from the floor, including 35.3 percent (6-of-17) from 3-point land.”You have to take your hat off to Dubach and wish them well,” Reserve Christian coach Tim Byrd said. “I don’t know how you shoot any better thanthey did.

“It’s disappointed. I think the kids expected to be in the final game but againDubach played a lot better than I expected them to play. To shoot at therange they shot at tonight, it’s awfully hard to defend. Add the quickness inwith their shooting ability and what else can you do defensively? We didn’t gave the answer tonight.”Byrd said that the team missed Ellis’ presence on both sides of the court.

Ellis hurt his ankle when he stepped on a teammate’s foot that morning in the shoot-around.

“He’s the guy we usually put on the other team’s most athletic scorer,” Byrd said. “I think we could have slowed Payne down a little bit if Addison had beenon the floor. With Addison Ellis on the floor, we had a much better shot ofgetting back in the game. He can match their speed. He’s just a great all-around player. He tried to go but in good conscience I couldn’t let him.” For the second straight season, Reserve Christian jumped out to a quick lead in the semifinals. A drive by Weathersby and a running one-hander by McClainin the lane gave the Eagles a 12-4 lead with 4:06 left in the first quarter.

Dubach came back to tie the game at 12 on a 3-pointer from the left wing ny Payne and a three-point play by Jenkins with 3:21 left. Payne then gave theHornets the lead for good by knocking down a 24-footer on the break.

Jenkins followed by taking a pass from Payne off a steal, giving the Hornets a 17-12 lead with 2:41 left. Armstrong added a 20-footer from the rightside to make it 22-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Dubach pulled away as the second quarter opened, beginning the quarter with a 14-2 run. Jenkins and Payne each had six points during the run with Paynegiving the Hornets a 36-18 lead with two free throws with 5:31 left in the half.

Reserve Christian pulled to with 13 twice on a 3-pointer by McClain and a drive by Matt McGee. But Dubach answered with a jumper by Hendricks and a3-pointer by Armstrong to take a 45-27 lead at halftime.

Vogel pulled Reserve Christian to within 45-30 with 6:23 left in the third on a 3-pointer from the top of the key. But Dubach again had an answer, going upby 22 on a 15-footer by Payne. A three-point play by Jenkins increased thelead to 24 at the end of the quarter.

Dubach took its biggest lead of the game at 85-55 with 4:50 remaining on a tap in by Hendricks. A 3-pointer from the top of the key by Chris McClainstarted a 9-0 run for the Eagles. Smith went in for consecutive dunks andVogel drove the lane to bring Reserve Christian to within 88-67 with 2:59 left.

Payne flipped up a layup over his head to increase the lead back to 24 with 1:05 left in the game. Jared Simoneaux and Weathersby each scored twiceinside in the final minute for the game’s final points.

“I’m happy with the overall team effort and overall team defense,” Dubach coach Shane Lee said. “We went man and they had trouble hitting theiroutside shots. We went zone and were lucky they had trouble hitting fromthe outside.

“We played very good basketball. This was the best game we’ve played in theplayoffs, all-around game. We scored a lot of points but I’m really happy withour defense. Defense won that game. Rebounding won that game.”It was the second straight season the Eagles have lost in the semifinals. ButByrd said this one was harder because he had six seniors while last year, the team had none.

“It hurts more this year because we’ve got six seniors and last year we didn’t,” Byrd said. “We really deserved to be champions. In my heart, we arechampions and this is just a blip on the screen.”

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