Rivercats win close one over St. James

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2004

By GEORGE MAHL – Sports Editor

EDGARD – Summer League basketball is supposed to be about teams sharpening their skills in what will hopefully be close, competitive games. That is exactly what happened when St. James played the Rivercats last Tuesday night at West St. John.

After trailing 11-7 with about six minutes left in the first half, the Rivercats scored eight unanswered points to give them a 15-11 lead. After that, the Rivercats went on to knock off the Lady Wildcats 28-24.

Leading 8-7, St. James guard Ariel Mitchell hit a three-pointer, expanding the St. James lead to 11-7.

During their next trip down the court, Keyona Nelson hit a three point shot to cut the lead 11-10 with 4:10 remaining. After Nelson sank a free throw to tie the game, the Rivercats scored the next two field goals, giving them a 15-12 lead at halftime. There were two ties in the first half and four lead changes.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first half. A three-point shot by Erica Harry tied the game 15-15 with 11:22 remaining in the game. St. James got their first lead of the second half when Christine Garrett hit a jumper, giving them a 17-15 lead with 9:24 left to play.

A basket by Crystal Fleming with 9:06 remaining tied the game 17-17.

The Lady Wildcats reclaimed the lead for the second time in the half when Mitchell hit a foul shot to put them up 18-17 with 7:38 to play.

Nelson, however, came back and put the Rivercats back in front for the first time in the second half. Her basket gave them a 19-18 lead with 7:13 left to play. During the final 5:46 of the game, the Rivercats defense stepped up.

They only allowed four points, two of them being free throws. Leading 21-20, the Rivercats scored seven of the next nine points.

In other summer league action, West St. John defeated Destrehan 33-30 and East St. John knocked off O. Perry Walker.

Games will continue to be played tomorrow night at East St. John.

The first game will be East St. John versus St. James (6pm), West St. John versus O. Perry Walker (7pm) and Rivercats versus Destrehan (8pm).