SCC Comets play Scrooge in Riverside Holiday Classic
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006
By JOHNNY PEPPO
RESERVE — Local basketball fans got a gift-wrapped rivalry game last week when Riverside took a nail-biter against West St. John to advance the Rebels into the championship game against St. Charles. But the Comet squad played the role of Scrooge to the Rebels as they tried to capture their own tournament championship.
The brackets opened local play last Wednesday as West St. John highlighted the opening day of action with a squeaker to get past Grace King in overtime. Blake Commini sparked a comeback for the Rams with six fourth quarter points to push the game into a tie to force the extra period. There, the King squad took a two point lead going into the final seconds of the game before WSJ in-bounded the ball and hurried upcourt. From there, Dray Joseph launched a prayer three-point attempt that dropped through the bottom of the net after the clock had expired for a 44-43 win. That advanced the Rams to face Riverside in a Thursday game.
West St. John vs. Riverside
In Thursday’s all-St. John Parish game between West St. John and Riverside, the Rams got an early jump on scoring with a 7-0 run right out of the gate. David Serven broke the run for the Rebels with a wraparound layup to break the Rams drought.
Reynard Thomas answered back with a three pointer for WSJ, but Jarid Caesar, of Riverside, kept the Rebels offense rolling with a driving layup to make it 10-4. From there, the Rebels went on a run of their own sparked by a pair of scores by Josh Collins.
Commini broke the run with a driving layup and a mid-range jumper to give WSJ a three point lead, until Collins came up with a steal and a fast break for a basket and Bobby Smith found Kane Keller under the goal for their first lead of the game at 18-17.
The Rams retook the lead before the half with scores from Commini, Joseph and Sarapuru, but a three-pointer by Keller kept the Rebels right in it as they went into the break with a 23-21 deficit.
The teams would trade blows, and the lead, throughout the second half of play as Collins came up with a pair of steals and jumpers while Nathan stripped an inbound pass and got the quick two points to close the gap to 36-31 with 5:24 left to play.
When it came down to it, West St. John took a three point lead on a lay-up by Commini, but Smith erased that with a three to tie it up with :35 left in the game. Smith put the Rebs in the lead with a driving score through the lane. A free throw by Jarid Caesar, and an offensive rebound on the second attempt, left the Rams with little time on the clock, but a chance to go downcourt for a win or a tie. But though the WSJ squad got the ball deep into the paint, they were unable to tip in the tying basket as time expired, giving Riverside a 44-43 and a spot in the championship round against St. Charles.
St. Charles vs. Riverside
In the championship game held Saturday, St. Charles pulled away with the final win in the brackets on a second half surge led by Demarcus Bernard.
The game was close early on, as the squads exchanged leads all the way through the first quarter, which ended with a 17-15 Comet lead. It was all SCC in the second quarter though, as the Comet defense shackled the Rebels, holding the host team to three points in the entire eight minute period. A three-pointer by Jonathan Bonura made it 36-18 as time expired to send it into halftime.
The third quarter was a different story as Keller got the Rebels warmed up
with five three pointers to help close the gap. But the St. Charles offense, led by Bernard?s 13 third quarter points, stayed just as effective to preserve their lead, which went into the final period at 59-39 in the Comets favor.
St. Charles held on to take the victory by keeping the action slow in the fourth, running off some clock with deliberate offense and taking advantage of some height match-ups. The 74-54 final gave the Comets the tournament championship.
West St. John takes third