Rebels best Wildcats at Holy Cross tourney

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 27, 2013


LAPLACE – Riverside didn’t score from the field in the fourth quarter of its first round Holy Cross Invitational game against crosstown rival East St. John.
But as it turned out, the Rebels wouldn’t need to.
Riverside entered the frame with a four-point lead and extended it out of the Wildcats’ reach via a parade to the foul line, the Rebels capturing a 68-55 victory over ESJ at Holy Cross.
RA made good on an opportunity to avenge last year’s 79-58 loss to the Wildcats at the same tourney.
“I think we fought harder tonight,” said Riverside’s Von Julien, who led all scorers with 23 points.
“Last year, they outphysicaled us. They beat us and we didn’t want to let it happen again. We fought them this time.”
The Rebels scored all 19 of their fourth quarter points from the foul line, getting into the bonus from nearly the outset of the period. RA led 49-45 entering the final quarter and handled the ball on the perimeter throughout the fourth, forcing ESJ to come out of its zone defense and play man.
From there, officials kept a tight ship. The Rebels attacked the lane and drew contact time and again.
Julien led the charge, scoring 14 fourth quarter points, all from the free throw line.
Julien said that attacking more was a mindset for the team after it competed last week at the King of the Bluegrass Tournament in Kentucky.
“We didn’t attack there like we needed to,” said Julien. “We didn’t show up and play physical like we needed to. Tonight, we did. We weren’t ever comfortable with our lead. We needed to keep fighting.”
Malik Crowfield added 15 for the Rebels. Herb McGee and Curtis Thomas each scored seven.
Tre’Von Jasmine led a balanced effort for the Wildcats with 10 points. Edwin Winston, Kyle Patterson and Troy Green each scored nine. Raekwon McKnight added eight.
The Wildcats (7-4) kept Riverside (6-3) from pulling away for much of the fourth due to some clutch outside shooting. Raekwon McKnight sank a 3 after a Wildcats’ offensive rebound to cut a 54-47 RA lead to four.
With 2:43 left, it was Kendell Jackson’s 3 from the wing that made it a 59-53 lead for the Rebels. But those were the only two field goals of the period, and it was as close as ESJ would get.
Julien put the game on ice from the line, scoring the Rebels’ final nine points of the game.
“With about two and a half minutes left, I told Von to go get the ball,” said Byrd. “I want you shooting free throws … He’s steady and solid as a rock for us.”
ESJ coach Yussef Jasmine wasn’t pleased with the way the game was called, saying he felt the officials were “too involved.”
“When one player shoots 19 free throws by himself, and when a team shoots 41 … that’s pretty unreal,” said Jasmine.
Byrd disagreed.
“I thought they were holding us, and the referees did what they had to do,” said Byrd. “Last year, we were on the other side of this. This time, we took the air out of the ball and made them come to get us.”
Jasmine said that the Wildcats, however, did not do enough to come away with the victory.
“In defense of the referees … early on, we knew (Crowfield) was a great shooter. We let him take three wide open shots. Our big three guys, the top scorer had just 10. You can’t beat a team like Riverside like that,” he said.
The Rebels were focused on stopping Tre’Von Jasmine, especially late once Riverside had a lead. RA employed a triangle-and-two zone to keep the sharpshooter in check.
“He’s a great shooter. We couldn’t let him get going,” said Julien.
REBELS GO 1-2 IN KENTUCKY – Riverside fell to the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in Kentucky last week, falling 78-66 to Ballard and 82-62 to Hopkinsville.
The Rebels picked up a 78-66 victory over Perry County at the tourney.
Against Ballard, the state’s top-ranked team, Jordan Andrews scored 19 to lead RA. Malik Crowfield added 17, while Deuce Wallace and Joe Anderson each scored eight.
In the Perry County victory,Crowfield’s 26 led the charge for the Rebels. Andrews scored 20. Anderson scored 11 and Wallace 10.
Against Hopkinsville, Crowfield’s 17 was a team-high. Andrews scored 16 and Von Julien 13.
WILDCATS DEF. ZACHARY, FALL TO. ST. AUGUSTINE – ESJ picked up its seventh win of the season last week over Zachary, 60-50, but fell to St. Augustine, 63-50.
Tre’Von Jasmine scored 24 points, Edwin Winston 13 and Troy Green 12 in the win over Zachary.
Winston scored 14, Green 11 and Jasmine 9 in the loss to St. Augustine.