Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2011



LAPLACE – It didn’t take Louis Dabney long to shake off any rust from a near three-week layoff due to injury.

The Riverside junior made a career high eight 3-pointers in his first game back from an ankle injury as the Rebels remained undefeated in District 9-2A in dominating fashion, defeating St. Charles, 109-60.

“Not at all,” said Dabney, shaking his head after being asked if he had ever shot so well before. “I can’t tell you what I was feeling. I was just in the zone. I wasn’t thinking about anything, it just happened.”

Dabney scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Rebels, who were scorching hot from the perimeter. John Lewis scored 17, making five 3’s himself. Ricardo Gathers scored 16, and Zelvyn Smith scored 12.

“This was our first real breakout performance shooting the ball,” said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd. “We needed a game like this … Both of these teams played very hard. It just so happens we shot it extremely well tonight.”

Said St. Charles coach Chris Perrone: “Our kids played very hard. I can’t find fault at all with their effort. I wasn’t as happy with our shot selection. Some were too quick, others just bad.

“I felt that in the first and second quarters, we got what we wanted at a pace that we like for the most part. But when they cranked up the pressure and we got some layups … we kept playing like speed demons even when they backed off, and they forced turnovers.”

John Williams led the way for St. Charles (11-13, 1-3) with 22. Mike Green scored 16 and Trent Dunn scored eight. Harley Scioneaux grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Comets stuck close in the very early stages of the game. It didn’t take long, however, for Riverside (24-6) to establish it’s “Runnin’ Rebels” moniker.

Gathers got things going with a basket to make it 12-8. Donald Thomas immediately followed with a driving layup of his own, then Lewis canned a 3-pointer to make it 17-8. Thomas made two free throws and Riverside led by double figures.

A Green jumper a short time later pulled St. Charles within single digits at 20-11, but Dabney hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 12.

Williams answered at the other end, but it wouldn’t halt the Rebel surge. A Gathers’ basket ignited a 10-0 run that also saw scoring from Dabney, Smith and Lucas Martin-Julien, making it 33-15.

Riverside led 46-26 at halftime.

The game’s result became all but a formality early in the third quarter as Riverside began the second half on an 8-0 run, including a run of three baskets within 15 seconds – that run became possible due to three steals by Thomas and was punctuated by a rim-rattling dunk by Gathers. With 6:07 remaining in the third, Riverside led 54-26.

“Donald was really key in the third quarter for us,” said Byrd. “Those steals really helped us open it up for a big run.”

From there it was a shooting exhibition. Riverside hit 13 3-pointers in the second half.

“It’s safe to say they’ve got at least six guys who can go for 25 points on any given night,” said Perrone.

The crowd for both sides was intense throughout despite the spread of points, something that has become a staple of the local rivalry.

“There’s no quit in St. Charles. Chris is doing a tremendous job with them,” said Byrd. “St. Charles is one of the better teams in Class 2A in my mind.”

Said Dabney: “The energy never stopped.”

RIVERSIDE 102, JOHN CURTIS 67 – The (25-6, 5-0) Rebels rolled up 60 first-half points to make things an early rout against the Patriots, just nine days after edging Curtis by three at Curtis.

The win clinched the District 9-2A title for Riverside.

Gathers scored 39 for the Rebels. Dabney scored 23 and Martin-Julien added 19.

Reakwon James scored 17 to lead Curtis.

Malik Morgan, who scored 50 points for Curtis in the first game, sat out with an ankle injury. Conversely, the Rebels had Dabney, Lewis and Thomas all back – they each sat out in the first game.

“We really guarded them,” said Byrd. “Having those guys back allows us to go 14 deep. We picked them up fuill court early and wore them down.”

Byrd said that after “hitting the wall” for a bit in recent weeks, he feels his team is back where it needs to be for the stretch run.

“We’re catching our second wind,” he said. “We’re getting healthy and starting to get our legs back. We’re playing with the energy that we like our team to play with.”