Early Comets’ surge propels St. Charles past Riverside

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

Matus, Usand-Burton, Ray each score 10 in victory


Sports Editor

St. Charles bounced back in a big way from consecutive losses at its WOW Classic tournament last week, defeating Riverside at home on Monday, 56-18.

Shedrick Usand-Burton, Birch Matus, and Jason Ray each scored 10 points for the Comets.

“After (the Reserve Christian loss), we made a statement that we had to come out with intensity,” said St. Charles coach Jonathan Hernandez. “We were very active defensively, very enthusiastic. We blew it open early.”

Riverside (7-5) fell behind 23-4 after the first quarter of play, and never climbed back into it.

“They executed well,” said Riverside Coach Ben Wilson. “They beat us to death on the glass. They were a little more disciplined on offense and defense, and really executed better than we did across the board.”

Hernandez says that he hopes the performance represents a turning point for his Comets (8-8), who have been up and down this year against a tough early schedule.

“We did it for a reason,” Hernandez said of the number of tough schools SCC scheduled to face early. “When you lose, the key is how you respond to those losses. We have the ability to be a good team, but we have to do the little things in order to be successful.”

As always when the two schools meet, the hometown rivalry between the teams creates an exciting atmosphere.

“It was a great crowd, both schools brought a lot of fans out,” said Hernandez. “We were lucky enough to get off to a good start, get our rotations right and get some baskets early.”

Riverside was slated to face St. Martin’s in the first round of the Ecole Classique tournament on Thursday, but St. Martin’s forfeited the contest. The Rebels were to face the winner of E.D. White and Ridgewood in the tournament semifinals on Friday night.