Rebels return home, but fall to Comets
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Riverside didn’t come away with a win on Monday night over visiting St. Charles. What the Rebels did do, however, was return home — and that certainly counts for something, this season.
St. Charles topped Riverside 52-35 in the first game played in the Rebels newly renovated gym, after hurricane damage called for repairs to be made before basketball season.
The Rebels got a brand new floor to play on, but had to play and practice in the season’s first month away from their gym, with home contests scheduled at nearby Reserve Christian.
“We’re all really excited. It makes us finally feel at home when we play,” said Riverside senior Kristen Bailey. “More people come out to see us when we’re here. It just makes everything so much easier.”
Two Comets scored in double figures as Brooke Becker scored 16 and Rachael McNulty added 13 to lead the Comets.
The win over the Rebels (1-12) was St. Charles’ second straight, after suffering two consecutive losses. McNulty said that the Comets wanted to reestablish a winning attitude.
“We needed to turn it around. We can’t let ourselves get down just after losing a couple of games. We came out and hustled,” McNulty said.
Kacie Braud chipped in eight for the Comets (10-8).
Lauren Doyle led Riverside with 13. Heather LeBlanc added 10, and Heidi Garcich scored six.
SCC established a 30-16 halftime lead after a foul heavy first half that saw each team get to the foul line with regularity. St. Charles was able to push the ball inside, and more often than not drew a foul — SCC made 17 free throws before halftime.
“They shot a better percentage than we did from the line, and also from the outside,” said Riverside Coach Kristy Hebert. “I think we got off as many shots (from the field), but they made more of theirs.”
SCC led 8-2 before a Doyle 3-pointer made it 8-5. Braud and Becker combined for the next four points, and combined to fuel a 16-2 St. Charles run that put the Comets up 24-7 in the second quarter.
A jumper by LeBlanc, followed by a pair of Garcich free throws cut the SCC lead to 13. But despite another Doyle 3, two McNulty buckets paired with two Becker foul shots pushed the lead back to 16.
From there, the Comets held on.
SCC Coach Nolan Louque was pleased that although Becker was held under her usual scoring standards, McNulty and Braud were able to step up and add another dimension to the Comet offense.
“The main thing was that Riverside came in looking to take Brooke out of the game. (Braud and McNulty) each stepped forward. It shows our team is getting better.
“We always knew that others would have opportunities to score with Brooke drawing so much attention, but the girls were just timid. A lot of them hadn’t played varsity ball. But midway through the season, they’re starting to really show up.”
Hebert said she continues to see her team improve — you can really see it in spurts, she says.
And of course, a few home games never hurt anyone.
“We finally have a place to play that we can truly call our home court,” said Hebert. “It’s exciting for everyone to be back in that environment.”
ST. CHARLES SPLITS TWO OVER WEEKEND — The Comets fell to St. Amant on Friday night, 55-39, but rebounded to defeat McGehee on Saturday, 53-27.
St. Amant outscored SCC 12-3 in the third quarter to go ahead 41-22 and take control on Friday night. Three Gators scored in double figures, led by Megan Poore’s 14.
Becker led St. Charles with 27 points.
It didn’t take long for SCC to shake the loss off, as the next night saw the Comets take full control from the beginning of its game with McGehee. SCC led 14-4 after a quarter, and 29-12 at halftime. The Comets wouldn’t let up from there, increasing their lead in each of the final two quarters.
Becker led St. Charles with 26. Heather Orillion added eight.
Each game was played at SCC.