Rebels advance to quarters

Published 11:45 pm Friday, March 7, 2014


LAPLACE — A balanced scoring effort across the board and a big second half propelled Riverside comfortably past host Homer in the regional round of the Class 2A state playoffs, 79-52. 

The top-seeded Rebels led by just four at halftime, 37-33, but kicked their defense into high gear in the third quarter to establish control, holding Homer to just five points in the quarter and taking a 54-38 lead into the fourth. 

From there, the Rebels blasted the game wide open to capture a 27-point victory.

Riverside, the defending Class 2A state champion, advanced to the state quarterfinals, where it was set to host Sterlington on Friday night, after press time. Results will be in Wednesday’s edition. 

“It was a long trip and a tough team awaiting us,” said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd, aiming for his 11th state championship as a head coach. “Homer’s a big, athletic team, a good number 17 seed, and they had a good  playoff atmosphere. I thought our kids did a really good job.”

Herb McGee led Riverside with 16 points. Malik Crowfield and Von Julien added 14 each. 

Jared Butler scored 13 while Deuce Wallace contributed 11.

Homer, 2A’s no. 17 seed, entered play with the reputation of being one of the state’s best offensive rebounding teams, but Riverside won the battle on the glass comfortably, led by Crowfield’s 12 rebounds and Joe Anderson’s 10.

“(Homer) gets a lot of their baskets on put-backs and second chance opportunities,” said Byrd. 

“I thought we did a good job of taking their strength away from them. We had 47 rebounds … We didn’t dominate them on the boards, but we won the battle there.”

Crowfield and fellow sharpshooter Jordan Andrews were each cold from beyond 3-point range, two of the Rebels’ best shooters going a combined 1 of 15 from behind the arc. 

“I thought it was a strong effort in that we didn’t shoot very well, but even on a night like that we can still win decisively,” said Byrd. “Herb, Deuce and Jared really kept us in the game in the first half, and then in the second, Malik and Herb really stepped up their game to blow it open.”