Riverside keeps roll going with 88-64 win

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014


LAPLACE — After falling behind early against rival East St. John in the early stages of his team’s Hall of Fame exhibition Saturday, Riverside coach Timmy Byrd called timeout and took his team to task for what he deemed a lackadaisical effort. 

His Rebels got the message, and the result was a 19th straight victory — and another chapter to what is quickly becoming a frightening tale for the rest of the prep basketball landscape. 

Riverside captured an 88-64 win over the Wildcats at Southeastern, the 12th win of 10-points or more over the Rebels current winning streak. 

“We had to show everyone what we had,” said Riverside center Joe Anderson, who scored 14. “They were outrebounding us (early), so we had to push back and outphysical them as a group, to go hard at them.”

Malik Crowfield scored a team-high 19 points to lead Riverside. Herb McGee scored 17. Joe Anderson scored 14 and Von Julien 13. 

For East St. John (20-5), Edwin Winston led the way with 24. Tre’Von Jasmine scored 20 and Troy Green 13.  

Byrd said that after the first six minutes of play, his team finally began operating at its peak level. 

“We were sleepwalking to start off,” said Byrd. “East St. John came out ready to play hard and we had to wake up. After that six minute mark, we regained our focus. It’s all about focus for our team. Our guys finally decided enough was enough and that it was time to step up and win.”

The Rebels (23-3) have kicked their offense into overdrive of late: Riverside is averaging 89 points per game over its last 10 contests. Of the Rebels 19 consecutive wins, 13 have come against teams with winning records, including East St. John twice, John Curtis, University twice, Country Day, Salmen and St. Thomas More. 

East St. John led 14-9 early after some strong offensive glass work by Winston and eight quick Jasmine points.

The Rebels sparked their offense through a big defensive play when Von Julien jumped a pass and took it the other way for basket and foul, converting a free throw to make it 14-12. A McGee 3 from the wing gave Riverside the lead — and it would be permanent. 

Joe Anderson scored five straight points, then Julien made a slick move for a layup to cap a 14-2 run to end the first quarter, the Rebels ahead 23-16. 

Riverside led by 10 after a McGee corner 3 before Green scored inside and Jasmine hit a 3 to make it 31-26.

But from there, it was all Riverside. Crowfield got a steal and turned it into a layup. Then Julien missed a dunk, but Crowfield followed up with a two-handed flush of his own to make it 35-26.

“I think a couple of plays, those dunks, energized us,” said Byrd. “From there, we really played with a lot of hustle and effort.”

A Jordan Andrews corner 3 pushed the Rebels lead to 13. Andrew Butler sank a wing 3 to make it 42-26, then McGee hit one to make it 45-29. A Julien putback gave RA an 18 point lead, and RA maintained a 49-31 lead at the half. 

“We started to play their game,” said East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine, whose team had won 11 of 12 entering Saturday’s game. “They’re not just a run and gun team, but a very good one. We made some mistakes in our zone early and they’ve got a lot of shooters.’

“We started trying to take 3’s with them. One thing about Riverside is they do a great job of taking advantage of your bad shots. They punish you. Their style took us out of character.”

McGee ignited Riverside in the second half with a monster one-handed dunk early in the third quarter. A couple of Anderson baskets pushed the lead to 58-35, and his putback dunk with 1:15 left in the period made it a 25-point Rebels lead. Jasmine hit a 3, but the Rebels were gliding; Butler, Crowfield and Julien hit back-to-back-to-back 3’s to jump the lead to 74-43, which stood as the biggest margin of the night. 



EAST ST. JOHN 82, HAHNVILLE 71 — Hahnville hung tough throughout, but East St. John eventually put away the Tigers in Reserve Monday night, besting HHS 82-71.

Troy Green scored 19 to lead the Wildcats (20-5, 10-1). Edwin Winston scored 15, Raekwon McKnight 15 and Tre’Von Jasmine 12. 

Juwan Green scored 25 and Fountainette Bradley added 16 to lead Hahnville. 

Hahnville (14-10, 7-4) led 20-10 early in the game before ESJ ended the first quarter on a 12-0 run. Likewise, ESJ finished strong, outscoring Hahnville 21-10 over the last 5 minutes of play. 

“They came out prepared for our zone and made shots early,” said Yussef Jasmine. “Last time, they made shots late. This time, it came early. They played really free, really loose. We were able to pull away late.”

Yussef Jasmine said that once the Wildcats established a lead, the zone began to work wonders. 

“When you’re up late like that, sometimes kids tend to force shots against (the zone),” he said. 

“We had three possessions where we got out and scored in transition, back to back to back, and that really lifted us down the stretch.” 

East St. John leads District 7-5A by two games over second place Thibodaux with three games remaining. Thibodaux hosts East St. John Thursday night.