Curtis defeats Rebels, clinch 10-2A

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sports Editor

Jonathan McKnight’s 31 points led the way on Friday night as John Curtis officially wrapped up the District 10-2A title with a 72-46 victory at home over Riverside in the regular season finale for both teams.

Josh Tassin led the way for the Rebels (14-17, 1-7) with 18 points. Kane Keller added eight. Bobby Smith scored seven, and Jade Falgoust scored six.

Unlike the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 25 at Riverside (14-17, 1-7), where Curtis overcame a late Riverside lead to pull out a 47-42 win, the Patriots took control of this game early, outscoring the Rebels 35-21 in the first half, and building their lead from there.

“They came out of the gate strong and we got into a hole,” said Riverside Coach Ben Wilson. “They turned us over a lot and won the turnover battle by a good margin.

“It’s been the same issues that have plagued us all year, turnovers and rebounding.”

Another issue was the shooting of McKnight, for whom the Rebels had no answer.

“We didn’t do a good job of contesting his shots,” Wilson said. “We weren’t challenging him.”

Curtis (7-1 in District 10-2A) couldn’t afford a loss – a Newman win over St. James on Friday coupled with a Patriot loss would have created a tie at the top of the district, with each team holding a win over the other.

Neither occurred, as both Curtis and St. James emerged winners.

As for Riverside, Wilson says that while the Rebels’ lack of size and experience hurt them this year, one thing he could not question was their determination.

“These boys have no quit in their hearts,” said Wilson. “They may not be big, but they’re very scrappy. They did everything I asked them to do this season. I’m very proud of their effort.”