Riverside nets first two wins of season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside Coach Ben Wilson says his team has finally been able to exhale.

The Rebels notched their first two victories of the season last week, edging Riverdale last Tuesday, 52-51, and Belle Chasse at this past weekend’s Chalmette tournament, 59-38.

The Rebels also lost twice over the weekend, falling to host Chalmette, 50-30, and to De La Salle, 44-41.

But in a season where Riverside (2-13) has fallen by seven points or less in 10 of its 13 losses, finally pushing through was a big step for Wilson’s Rebels.

“We got the monkey off our back,” Wilson said.

Kane Keller’s 3-pointer with nine seconds left put Riverside ahead of Riverdale by one last Tuesday, and the Rebel defense was able to make a stop to hold on to the win.

“Kane had the hot hand in the second half,” Wilson said of Keller, who hit five 3’s after halftime. “We were able to get some tough points inside against their zone. They had to react to that.

“And when we kicked it out to Kane, he didn’t hesitate.”

Keller scored 15 points, all after halftime. Josh Tassin led the Rebels with 20 points.

Riverside trailed 23-19 at halftime.

Riverside’s victory over Belle Chasse came in less dramatic fashion. While the Rebels fell behind 17-10 after a quarter, they outscored the Cardinals 49-21 the rest of the way to win by a comfortable 21-point margin.

“We did a great job at the basket, finishing and getting to the free throw line,” said Wilson. “We stopped settling for outside shots. That allowed us to stay in control.”

Tassin scored 21. Keller added 14.

But on Saturday, a 21 point effort by Tassin went for naught as Riverside lost in overtime to De La Salle, 44-41.

The Rebels maintained a consistent lead form much of the game, but late turnovers allowed the Cavaliers to erase a six point RA lead.

“We’d force a turnover, then we’d give it right back,” said Wilson. “We let it go to overtime when it shouldn’t have. We gave it away with poor shot selection and turnovers, and that’s a summary of our season to this point.”

Riverside led by three to begin the overtime, but DLS took the lead after a pair of 3-pointers. The Cavaliers (5-9) outscored the Rebels 8-2 the rest of the way.

The Rebels opened up the Chalmette tournament against the hosting Owls (11-3), who notched their eleventh win of the season, 80-30 over Riverside.

Bobby Smith scored 13 to lead Riverside.