Curtis bests Riverside, advances to regional

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 15, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside’s most successful season in five years came to a sudden end on Wednesday night, at the hands of a familiar foe.

No. 6 seed John Curtis took a 18-3 lead after a quarter, and continued to roll from there, winning its bi-district playoff matchup over the Rebels, 69-11 at Curtis.

Curtis and Riverside were the second and third place teams from District 10-2A, respectively.

“They really dominated the game from the beginning,” said Riverside Coach Kristy Hebert, who made her third coaching appearance against her former team since leaving Curtis for Riverside over the summer. “We played tight defense and rarely gave up second shots, but it seemed like they made 95% of their attempts. It was unbelievable.”

For Riverside (11-17), it was the Rebels’ first postseason appearance since 2003, where it fell to Ascension Catholic in the bi-district round.

Nadia Collins led the Patriots (26-9) with 20 points.

After winning no district games last season, Riverside improved to 6-4 within 10-2A in Hebert’s first year with the team. Although district champion and state tournament 3-seed St. James defeated the Rebels twice, Riverside was able to push the Wildcats at times in each game.

That was not the case against Curtis, who won all three games convincingly, as the Patriots caused severe matchup problems for Riverside.

“Curtis has height,” said Hebert. “We’re usually able to go inside on a lot of teams. They had the height to match up though, and we couldn’t go inside at all.”

Hebert said she couldn’t have asked for more from her team.

“I’m proud of them. They kept fighting and played with class,” said Hebert. “They played hard all the way until the buzzer went off.”

Although the playoff defeat was a bitter one, the Rebels finished their regular season on a high note, defeating Newman 42-27 on the Rebels’ senior night in a district game at home last Thursday night.

Sarah Levin led the way with 17 points. Senior Brittany Schoen scored 11, and senior Marci Millet added 10.

The game was a nip and tuck affair for three quarters with Riverside leading by one after a quarter, three at halftime and five entering the fourth period.

But the Rebels turned it on in that final quarter, outscoring the Greenies 14-4.

“We were sluggish for the first three quarters,” said Hebert. “It seemed like we never could get into it. It was ‘we score, they score’.

“But we finally woke up. We started getting some fast break points and made our layups, which let us pull away.”

All in all, Hebert says, the season was a successful one, and a huge step forward for Riverside basketball.

“Our first goal was to make it to the playoffs,” she said. “These kids came to practice all year looking to get better and working at it. They liked what we’ve been able to do, and they kept working even harder at it.

“I’m very happy for the girls. It’s good for both the girls and the school.”