Julien’s 33 leads Rebs to victory

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014


LAPLACE – Ask Von Julien about his excitement level of advancing to another Top 28 basketball tournament, and he plays it off, a not-so-shocking response considering that Riverside’s junior point guard has advanced there thrice before.

But his play on Friday night told a different story: at this time of year, the Rebels’ floor general knows exactly what’s at stake.

Julien racked up 33 points and dished 10 assists to head Riverside’s latest dominating performance, a 103-50 Class 2A quarterfinal victory over visiting Sterlington in Reserve. 

The victory clinched the fifth straight berth at the Top 28 for the Rebels, who are attempting to win the Class 2A championship for the fourth time in five years.

Sterlington never truly challenged Riverside Friday night. The Rebels charged out to a 24-6 first quarter lead thanks to a relentless barrage of full court pressure. Though Riverside uncharacteristically didn’t make a 3-pointer in the first quarter, it fed plenty off its transition game and scored 30 in the opening frame. 

“We wanted to come out and press them because we knew they hadn’t faced a team that likes to run like we do,” said Julien. “Once we got steals, we wanted to push it. They were so concerned with protecting the basket that it opened things up from 3 later on.”

Tempers flared between the teams on a few different occasions during the game, and Julien seemed to feed off the emotion, particuarly in the second half. He scored 20 points after halftime, including four 3-point makes. 

“I thought he had a good first half, then in the second half he just took the game over,” said Byrd. “He was feeling his jumper from the outside. When Von’s hitting that shot, he’s completely unguardable.”

Riverside continued its postseason trend of winning the rebounding battle. Malik Crowfield grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. Deuce Wallace added 11 and Joe Anderson got 10. 

Malik Crowfield scored 19 points and Herb McGee scored 15 for the Rebels. 

Jordan Andrews scored 13 and Jared Butler added 12. 

Semaj Colvin scored 21 to lead Sterlington (25-8). De’Marcus Matthews added 10.

Riverside began the game on a 13-2 run, highlighted by two Crowfield buckets to start it off and two baskets by Andrews.

Andrews’ energy, Byrd said, was contagious.

“He played with much more energy tonight, I thought, and I think the rest of our team followed suit,” he said.

The early run proved a knockout punch. 

“We like to come out and cut teams out early, take the game from them,” said Andrews. “If we play defense, we’ve got the chance to do that.’

“It comes down to everyone buying in … If there’s one weak link, one person lets up, it doesn’t work.”