McGee’s 16 leads Eagles to victory

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2001


PHOTO: RESERVE CHRISTIAN’S FRANKIE FRANCOIS looks to put up a shot over Northlake Christian’s Mike Skinner (00) and Bret Miguez (42) in first quarter action Friday night. (Staff Photo by Michael Kiral) RESERVE – Matt McGee scored a game-high 16 points and added eight rebounds as Reserve Christian defeated Northlake Christian, 79-44, in the Class B bi-district playoffs Friday night. Reserve Christian, 34-13 on the season, advances to the regional playoffs at Zwolle this week. Zwolle defeated Episcopal of Acadiana, 62-49, Friday. Northlake Christian finished its season at 24-8. Chris McClain had a double-double for Reserve Christian, getting 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with two steals. Frankie Francois also had 10 points and two steals. Demond Carter tossed in 14 points. Paul Labiche had a team-high six assists to go with eight points and five rebounds. Matt Sherwood led Northlake Christian with 14 points. Michael Hutchinson contributed 10 points and John Graham nine. Both teams started slow from the field. Reserve Christian got the first point of the game on a free throw by McGee with 4:57 left. Nineteen seconds later, LaBiche got the first field goal on a put back jumper. That was the start of a 14-0 run by the Eagles. McGee and Francois buried 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make it 12-0 with 2:08 left. Matt Jackson added another jumper to build the lead to 14-0 before Hutchinson got Northlake’s first points on a pass from Mike Skinner with 21 seconds remaining. Reserve Christian kept forcing turnovers with its pressure defense early in the second quarter. Carter took a steal in to make it a 13-point game. McGee followed with another one with McClain getting the basket off a pass from Carter. McClain then grabbed a steal, passed to Carter who fed Francois downcourt for a 21-4 lead with 5:50 remaining in the half. “We knew they all could shoot,” Reserve Christian Tim Byrd said. “We didn’t let them have open shots. We just overmatched them. Our quickness was the key factor in the first half. Our quickness just took over.” A 3-pointer by Marshall Williams built the lead to 18 before Northlake came back with a jumper by Graham and a drive by Skinner off a pass by Bret Miguez to cut the deficit to 24-10 with 3:27 left. But Carter came back with two 3-pointers and McGee scored inside off a pass by Labiche as the Eagles took a 34-12 into halftime. Northlake opened the second half on a 11-4 run to cut the deficit to 15. Hutchinson started the run with a drive and Sherwood followed with a 3-pointer to make it 36-20. After a drive by McGee off a pass by Labiche, Sherwood buried another 3-pointer to bring Northlake to within 38-23. Reserve Christian pulled away again as Carter and McClain nailed 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. A pass from Labiche to McGee driving in helped the Eagles take a 53-30 lead into the fourth quarter. “We held them down early, we just didn’t score any points ourselves,” Northlake Christian coach Monte Fontenot said. “They have too many weapons. But I’m proud of the effort. The kids hung in there and we stuck to the game plan. We were just out-manned tonight. The win marked the third straight year the Eagles have won their bi-district playoff game at home. “If we come out and take care of business, this team can beat anybody,” Byrd said. “We just can’t beat ourselves.”