Eagles, Comets play in STA tourney
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006
Both squads pick up a win in Veritas Challenge
By JOHNNY PEPPO
HAMMOND – Reserve Christian and St. Charles’ basketball squads were in Hammond this week just before Thanksgiving, for the Veritas Challenge tournament held at St. Thomas Aquinas. A first round win gave the RCS team a chance to place in the brackets, but the Eagles fell to the Port Allen in the game for third place. The SCC Comets took a win in the final day of the tournament, escaping over Covington by a 57-56 score.
The tournament started on Monday afternoon with St. Charles up against Port Allen in the second game. The Comets had trouble scoring through the first half against the Port Allen defense, going into halftime with a 41-14 deficit. The Comets did pull to within 12 points with just under five minutes left to play, but Port Allen closed it out in a high scoring fourth quarter for both teams, to take the 72-51 win. Jonathan Bonura led SCC for this one with 19 points, 15 of which he scored in the second half.
Reserve Christian took the court for the next game against Slidell. The Eagles got on top quickly and entered the final quarter ahead by a score of 70-41. A conservative fourth quarter for RCS ended it 84-60.
Junior Eddren McCain led the Eagles with 23 points while freshman Cedrick Jenkins added 20 more.
The second round saw both St. Charles and Reserve Christian dropping a game. The Comets fell in a tight 60-55 final despite a game-high 24 points by Austin Martin.
Freshman Cedric Jenkins led the Eagles with 15 points in the RCS match-up with the Vandebilt Catholic Terriers, but the Vandy defense kept Reserve Christian’s offense mostly in check. The Eagles doubled their score from the first half in the third quarter alone, but their rally couldn’t close the gap as the Terriers got the win with a 61-43 final.
The last day of the tournament fell on Wednesday where Reserve Christian was in a third place consolation game against the Port Allen Pelicans. After jumping out to a 26-11 lead by halftime, the Pelicans were outscored 38-30 in the second half, but salvaged the victory with defense down the stretch. Jenkins scored 20 points, 16 in the second half to help the rally, but the Pelicans got the eventual 56-49 win.
St. Charles got their win earlier in the day when the Comets’ Victor Gordon sank clutch free throws in the final moments to secure the game against Covington. His winning
free throw came with less than four seconds to play to make it 57-53. But Covington used the last few ticks to heave a three-pointer to make it the 57-56 final.
The host team, St. Thomas Aquinas, dominated the championship game against Vandebilt Catholic with a score of 70-44. This is the second time in as many years that St. Thomas Aquinas has won the event, which started last season.
“We have group of young, inexperience kids this year who are trying to carry on the tradition that came before them,” said Reserve Christian head coach Tim Byrd. “One of the things they do well is crash the offensive boards as a group. We are getting rebounds based on numbers rather than just depending on one or two kids.”