Rebels down Patriots in Holy Cross final

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013


LAPLACE – Yet again, Riverside and John Curtis played a significant game that came down to the wire.
The Rebels won the latest chapter of the rivalry — and captured their third consecutive win over the Patriots — via a 63-60 win in overtime at the Holy Cross Holiday Classic over the weekend. 
Curtis led after each of the first three quarters but had to rally to force overtime late in the fourth on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by sharpshooter Kai Morgan. Riverside outscored Curtis 6-3 in the extra frame.
After competing at the King of the Bluegrass tournament in Kentucky a week earlier, the Rebels won four games in four days at Holy Cross.
“We won this tournament with defense,” said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd. “We had dead legs and not a lot of energy. But we’re winning with heart and guts, and I’m kind of proud of that.”
Malik Crowfield led the Rebels with 19 points, sealing tourney Most Valuable Player honors with his performance. Herb McGee scored 15, Jordan Andrews 11 and Von Julien 10.
Morgan led Curtis with 24 while former Rebel center Khalea Turner scored 14 —Turner transferred to Curtis early last season.
“I know that was a big subplot,” said Byrd of the 6-foot-9-inch Turner. “I thought Deuce )Wallace) and Joe (Anderson) did a really good job against him.”
Byrd was also pleased with his team’s defense on Patriots’ point guard and leading scorer Richard Durant. Durant made just one field goal and scored six points.
“Von and Herb played Durant really well,” said Byrd. “You cut the head off the snake and give yourself a chance to win.”
Byrd said McGee looked to be back to himself after suffering a concussion and a lower back injury against Karr Dec. 18.
Curtis and Riverside played one another four times last season, with the Rebels going 3-1 in those games.
All were close. Two years ago, the teams also matched up four times, with each team taking two wins. Curtis defeated Riverside that season in the Class 2A finals; the Rebels knocked off the Patriots in last season’s quarterfinal round.
With Curtis’ move up to Class 3A, the teams no longer have an interclassification rivalry, but could potentially face off for the second time in a week at the fourth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic tournament, which both teams will compete in beginning Thursday.
The Riverside and West St. John girls will also compete at the Sugar Bowl Classic, which will feature boys and girls tourneys for the second time in its four-year run.
RIVERSIDE 65, LANDRY-WALKER 57 – The Rebels earned its berth in the Holy Cross tournament final with a semifinal victory over the Charging Buccaneers.
Crowfield scored 19, Julien 17 and McGee 12 for the Rebels.
Lamar Peters scored 13 to lead Landry-Walker.
The Rebels defeated Independence 49-44 in the quarterfinals, netting Riverside its second victory over Independence.
Riverside won its season-opener 83-49 in the first meeting between the teams.