Pelicans’ late foul shooting sinks Rebels at ACHS tourney

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008


Sports Editor

Port Allen trailed Riverside by one with two minutes left Monday, but rallied to capture a 79-72 victory over the Rebels at the Ascension Catholic tournament.

A foul and an accompanying technical foul gave the Pelicans (2-3) made three of four foul shots to take the lead, and the Rebels never recovered.

“It kind of took the wind out of our sails,” said Riverside Coach Ben Wilson. “Right before that, we were called for a carry, another crucial turnover. We were right there the entire game.”

Port Allen made the Top 28 tournament a season ago, one of the final four teams in Class 3A.

Bobby Smith led Riverside with 28 points. Josh Tassin scored 22. Kane Keller added 12.

Keller hurt his wrist in the first half, but remained in the game.

“It affected his shot,” said Wilson. “He’s another guy who handles the ball, and I had to sub him in and out in the second half. That hurt us somewhat.”

Tassin and Smith, though, almost made it a moot point. Tassin hit six 3-pointers, while Smith buried a number of clutch shots throughout the game.

“Any of those three guys can come up big for us,” said Wilson.

Port Allen led 23-12 after a quarter, and 35-29 at halftime. Riverside trailed by only one entering the fourth quarter, 53-52.

The Rebels moved on to play another tourney game on Tuesday, this time against Redemptorist. The bigger Wolves pounded the Rebels on the boards and came away with a 66-58 win.

“They really pounded us on the boards,” said Wilson. “They got to the free throw line a lot more often than us. They had their way on the offensive boards. We were giving them two or three more chances to score every time.”

Redemptorist led by 20 entering the fourth quarter, but Riverside outscored Redemptorist 25-11 in the final quarter to close the gap.

“We’ve got a scrappy team. We won’t quit,” said Wilson. “We fought, but we put ourselves into a bad situation early on.”

Tassin scored 25 and Keller added 10 for the Rebels.

While Wilson said that the game against Port Allen showed his team could hang with a quality opponent, he said he’d like to have seen a better effort from start to finish the next night.

“I think we were still stuck in the moment from the night before,” he said. “We dwelled on that loss too much. We’ve got to be able to turn the page…(Redemptorist) was bigger and stronger, but I felt like our guys down low backed down a little too much.

“The only thing more I could have asked for (Tuesday night) is for us to be more consistent, regardless of whether things are going good or bad.”