Reserve, East St. John set for Friday night rematch

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sports Editor

Reserve Christian will enter this Friday night’s game against East St. John riding a five-game winning streak. The Wildcats, meanwhile, take an improved team to the Eagles’ nest in spite of a lopsided loss at Glen Oaks Friday night.

Fresh off a trip to the championship game at the St. Martinville tournament, the Wildcats dropped to 9-11 after falling 78-49 to the Panthers.

Glen Oaks (19-1), considered to be one of the top teams from the Baton Rouge area, led 25-10 after a quarter and kept the pressure on from there, leading by 19 at halftime and by 30 after three quarters.

“They rebound exceptionally well,” said ESJ Coach Yussef Jasmine. “We weren’t getting second chances, and they hit the offensive glass. They didn’t turn the ball over at all. They’re so disciplined in what they do, but at the same time they’re really aggressive.”

Lucas Martin and Anthony Dawson each scored nine to lead the way for the Wildcats.

Reserve (27-4), meanwhile, improved to 4-0 in District 10-C play by notching an 87-32 victory over Bishop McManus (5-6, 0-2) in Reserve on Friday.

Chris Roussell led the Eagles with 19 points in a game that the Eagles led from start to finish.

Cedric Jenkins scored 14, and Louis Dabney scored 12.

The Eagles are looking to sweep the Wildcats again after doing so in 2007. But in the first game between the teams this year, Reserve survived a late 3-point shooting barrage led by Kaylon Placide to hold on to an 80-73 victory at East St. John on Dec. 9.

RCS Coach Timmy Byrd says he expects a tough test.

“They’ve improved from the last meeting,” he said. “That’s a team with a lot of talent, and on any given night, they can beat anybody. They’ve had some tournament success recently. It should be a good, fan friendly game.”

Jasmine attributes his team’s recent solid play to increased efficiency on offense, in particular when it comes to taking care of the basketball.

He says that his team playing two local rivals this week in West St. John (scheduled for last night) and Reserve is a big positive headed into district play.

“I think the kids will be up for it,” he says. “It would be huge for us to come out and win both. Plus, that would put us at .500 going into district.”

Jenkins scored 28 in the first meeting between the teams, a performance that’s been burned into Jasmine’s memory.

“We definitely need to look out for Jenkins,” Jasmine said. “He hurt us in the last game. We have to play physically and keep them in front of us. But he’s a big factor for them, someone we definitely need to keep an eye on.

“We’ve got to come ready to play,” he added. “It’s a chance for us to come out and beat not only a really good team, but also a strong program.”