Eagles fall in RCS Invitational opener to Carencro

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sports Editor

Reserve Christian emerged from a tournament without championship hardware for the first time all season this past weekend.

At its own Reserve Christian Invitational, the Eagles were 1-2, defeating Kashmere (Houston, TX) but falling to Carencro and Christian Life (Baton Rouge).

Christian Life (Houston) won the tournament with a 89-61 victory over Carencro (10-4). 6’7 forward Latavius Williams scored 26 in the championship game and was named the tournament MVP.

Reserve’s Ricardo Gathers was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Christian Life (TX)’s Junior Cadougan, Carencro’s Ricky Johnson, and Christian Life (BR)’s Langston Galloway.

The Eagles (18-3) faced Carencro in the first round on Thursday night, and had a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter against the Bears — in front of their home fans, the Eagles seemed destined for victory.

But just as RCS had failed to weeks earlier at Christian Life in its only previous loss, it couldn’t protect the lead, falling 79-75 after a late Bears push.

“It was disappointing for us,” said RCS Coach Timmy Byrd. “We had things in check the whole way. They pressed us, but we took some ill-advised shots. We threw some balls away. Long story short, we didn’t execute well at all.”

Gathers led RCS with 25 points. Derek Taylor and Cedric Jenkins each scored 12. Louis Dabney added 11.

Those problems quickly washed away on Friday, as the Eagles trounced Kashmere, 81-44.

Reserve led 15-6 after a quarter and 38-18 at halftime. Kashmere never made a serious push to get back in it.

Gathers again led the way with 18. Taylor scored 14. Jenkins and Dabney each had 13.

“It was one of our most complete performances of the season,” said Byrd. “We came out with great energy.”

For Reserve, its tournament culminated with a rematch between CLA-Baton Rouge and RCS. But the Eagles couldn’t avenge their first loss of the season, and fell 71-64, despite holding the Crusaders without a field goal in the entire fourth quarter.

CLA did, however, shoot 28 free throws in the fourth, converting 21.

The Crusaders (5-3) led 31-24 at halftime, but Reserve began to push back into things late in the third quarter.

“They came out more intense and physical than we were,” Byrd said. “But in the second half, we came with an all-out effort defensively. It may have been the best we’ve played defensively all season.”

But the Eagles still couldn’t seem to bust through.

“We’d get a turnover and just miss our shot,” Byrd said. “At one point, we got two turnovers in a row, but couldn’t convert it into points. We had our chances to make a run.”

Jenkins scored 20. Ed Gallina added 17 and Gathers scored 11.