David Folse II

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Basketball squads ready to get serious with start of district play

I knew the football in this area was good.

The basketball may be even better.

Attending the Riverside Boys Tournament last week, I was treated to some of the best prep basketball I have seen in a long time.

Also, because it earned the right to be recognized again, I was treated to some of the best food in a long time as well. Thanks again!

Expecting Riverside to dominate the tournament, the Rebels were not the only top team in the gym last week. The champs of the tournament, West St. John, put on a show, St. Charles Catholic showed signs of improvement and even East St. John’s junior varsity team showed that the future is bright for Wildcat basketball.

Let’s start with the host team, the Riverside Rebels. Running an up-tempo style of offense (which I like tremendously), Riverside is led by all-everything Josh Labiche. Having only seen him play twice thus far, Labiche looks like a man amongst boys out on the court. Tremendous ball handling and a nice touch will definitely give the senior a chance to play on the next level.

Matt Rogers gives the Rebels a solid inside presence, but Riverside must shoot the ball well from the perimeter to have any chance at success this season due to the lack of size and depth.

A team that I definitely would not want to play at the end of the season is Jeff Montz’s St. Charles Catholic Comets. While the Comets struggled in the Riverside Tournament, you can see the potential that is ready to explode. The Comets are a very well coached team and are one of the best executing teams in terms of offense that I have seen.

Now let’s get to the surprise team of the tournament, to me at least, the West St. John Rams.

I knew that the Rams had talent. I mean back-to-back titles in football will tell anyone that there is tremendous talent at the school. What I did not know is how talented their basketball program is.

West St. John has it all. Rebels head coach Tommy Monier said it best when he said, “They come at you in waves!” Head coach Antoine Edwards will throw 10-12 players at opposing teams and the tempo never changes. They force turnovers and run, run, run. They have great guard play (Damian Morris) and great inside play with Tyren Johnson and Dearnold Anderson.

If the Rams stay healthy, they have as good of chance as any to be playing in Lafayette at the end of the season.

Sports Editor David Folse can be reached at lobsports@bellsouth.net