CLA’s Galloway explodes for 32, deals Reserve Christian first loss

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2008


Sports Editor

Up by 17 against host Christian Life in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, Reserve Christian seemed well on its way to its ninth straight victory to open the season.

But for the first time this season, Coach Timmy Byrd’s Eagles showed their youth.

Christian Life junior Langston Galloway scored 32 points, 23 of which coming in the last eight minutes as the Crusaders rallied to capture a 74-67 win in overtime.

“We’ve got a talented team,” said Byrd. “But we’ve also got a lot of new guys who aren’t understanding time and possession. How to take care of the basketball, and make free throws down the stretch.”

Galloway, who many regard as the top junior collegiate prospect in the state, had only nine points until there were three minutes left in the game.

At that point, he went on an absolute tear. Galloway hit four threes in a two minute span. He made two 2-point field goals, and went 2-2 at the foul line. He tied the game with 18 seconds left to force overtime, where he’d continue his scoring binge, scoring five of his team’s 13 points.

“There were guys in his face, but he made his shots,” Byrd said. “Our guys were trying to push the lead while up 17, and I have to do a better job of teaching them when to take the air out of the ball.”

Reserve (8-1) turned the ball over seven times in the last 2:30 of regulation, aiding the Crusader cause.

Cedric Jenkins scored 18 to lead the Eagles. Ricardo Gathers scored 15, and Louis Dabney scored 13. Ed Gallina added 10.

Gracia Szuba scored 18 for Christian Life (1-0).

It evened the score over the last two seasons for CLA, the defending Class !A champions — the Class C champion Eagles topped the Crusaders in Reserve early last season.

R CS led by as many as 20. That lead was built with the latest in a string of fantastic defensive efforts for RCS this season, and it almost led to a win despite a lackluster night shooting the ball.

“We shot maybe 28 percent,” said Byrd. “We turned it over without being forced. But our defense was magnificent. Without it, we never have that kind of lead.”

EAGLES ADVANCE TO WOODLAWN FINALS: It didn’t take long for Reserve to get over its first loss, however. The Eagles toppled Scotlandville 40-28 and then Helen Cox 81-52 to move to 10-1 on the season and advance to the finals of the Woodlawn tournament in Baton Rouge.

Scotlandville (1-1) slowed the pace of their first round game against RCS to a crawl, limiting to what Byrd estimates is the Eagles lowest point total in the past decade. But behind another strong defensive effort, and key buckets by Cedric Jenkins and Derek Taylor, RCS advanced to the semifinals.

“Our guys showed a lot of patience,” said Byrd. “And once we got the lead, we learned from Monday. Our guys did a much better job protecting the ball and not looking to score.”

Scotlandville (1-1) was led by J.J. Thomas, who scored 20. But the Eagle defense limited him to two second half baskets.

Jenkins scored 14, and Taylor added 10.

Statistics for the win over Helen Cox (1-2) were not available at press time.