Rebels rally falls short

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 7, 2003


RESERVE – It seemed the game was out of reach early this week for Riverside Academy.

Trailing 42-19 at one point to the French Settlement Lions, the Rebels appeared lifeless at times. However, things began to change in the second half.

With 5:32 remaining, Rebels starter Josh Labiche hit a basket to give Riverside its first lead of the game, 55-54. Ultimately, the Lions reclaimed the lead and went on to a 73-65 victory before an enthusiastic crowd at the Rebels gym.

“We played well tonight against an established basketball program,” was how RA head coach Tommy Monier responded when asked about his team’s performance.

“It was just difficult to do anything early in the game,” he said.

Throughout the first half, RA had difficulty containing FS center John Cain. Using his height advantage, Cain routinely got easy opportunities to score. He also was a force on the defensive side, grabbing several rebounds in the first two quarters.

Cain, a member of the RA Holiday All-Tournament team, scored nine points in the first quarter. He was also responsible for six of his teams first eight points.

Things got off to a shaky start for the Rebels. They fell behind 10-2 in the first four minutes of the game. Cain’s jumper with 2:51 left in the first period gave FS an early 12-4 lead.

Things got worse in the second quarter for Riverside. French Settlement, a Class B school, went on a 19-2 blitz during the first five minutes of the quarter. Matt Rogers provided the only bucket for the Rebels during the run. A three-point basket courtesy of RA’s Ryan St. Romain made the score 36-14 with about three minutes remaining until halftime.

A visibly upset Monier took his team into the locker room trailing 42-19. In the second half, FS played like the Rebels played in the first half. Labiche and Ryan Griffin started to heat up quickly in the third quarter. An amazing 25-5 run in the third quarter pulled Riverside to within three, 47-44, to end the third quarter.

Labiche and Griffin appeared to be scoring at will in the third. Labiche, a sophomore, had 13 points in the quarter, while Griffin added nine.

In fact, outside of Labiche and Griffin, Robert Fisackerly was the only other Rebel to score in the quarter. Moreover, Labiche scored his team’s final eight points of the quarter.

With less than a minute remaining in the period, Labiche hit a jump shot to cut the Lions lead to 47-44. The final period saw solid defense from the Rebels. They forced several turnovers in the final quarter and appeared to take control of the game after St. Romain hit a three pointer to give them a 58-54 lead with under five minutes left.

However, St. Romain’s bucket ignited a spark in the FS offense. Eight unanswered points from the Livingston Parish school made the score 62-58.

Leading scorers for RA were Griffin, who had 24 points, and Labiche, who added 17 points in the defeat. For French Settlement, Cain led the way with 19 points.

The loss dropped the Rebels to 6-9. Riverside’s next game is scheduled today at 3 p.m. against St. Charles Catholic in the River Parish Shootout at Reserve Christian School.