3 Rebs earn All-State
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE—If ever you wanted to see an All-State squad play together for a game, a trip to Riverside this past season would have brought you pretty close.
Rebels were named to three of the five First Team slots on this year’s Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association’s Class 2A All-State team, as Malik Crowfield, Von Julien and Herb McGee each earned that honor after leading Riverside to its second consecutive state championship.
St. James saw two of its players earn honorable mention after leading the Wildcats to the Top 28 tournament for the first time since 2001, with seniors D’Kwan Sandolph and Jason Favorite getting the nod.
On the girls side, Riverside’s Channan Simmons earned honorable mention.
Crowfield highlights the squad this season: the shooting guard/small forward was named Class 2A Most Valuable Player this season after leading Riverside in scoring and rebounding this season, posting averages of 18 points and 12 rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-4-inch sophomore proved to be one of the most explosive scorers in the state, adept at finishing at the rim while boasting one of the state’s most accurate 3-point jumpers. He scored 22 first half points en route to a game-high 35 and game MVP honors in Riverside’s 88-75 state championship win over Lakeview.
Prior to that, an 18-point quarter against Parkview Baptist in January hinted at a much more aggressive Crowfield, something Riverside coach Timmy Byrd said was by design.
“We talked before the season about how we needed him to be much more aggressive, don’t be passive and defer. He did that at times last year,” said Byrd. “He decided to be much more assertive this season and he did it all season long. Scoring, rebounding, playing defense, he was the complete package.’
“I think any of the three could have been the 2A MVP on a given night, but Malik’s consistency really drove it home. I don’t know that he had more than maybe one down game. He was that guy for us who could go get a basket whenever he wanted.”
Julien earns first team honors a season after he was named 2A’s MVP. He, too, stepped up his game, posting averages of 14 points, nine assists and only two turnovers per game as the Rebels’ point guard. The junior also flashed an improved 3-point shot this season.
“He’s a coach on the court. He’s really a verbal leader,” said Byrd. “That, then his blazing quickness on the court, makes him special. He allows us to play at a tempo that we’ve never been able to play at before. When he’s pushing the ball for us, he gets his teammates to run the floor with him.”
McGee earns All-State honors for the first time after averaging 14 points, eight rebounds and four steals per game.
McGee earned a reputation as Riverside’s best defensive player but also an adept scorer both in the lane and from the perimeter—the latter on full display during Riverside’s lopsided win over eventual Class 3A champion University in January, as McGee hit eight first half 3-pointers and nine overall.
“I’m elated to see him recognized as a top player because he deserves to be,” said Byrd, who said at the Top 28 that the sophomore swingman sacrificed flashier offensive numbers and the attention that comes with it. “Often, the guy who takes on the role as your defensive stopper gets overlooked.’
“He could get his points and when you look back, he steps it up there in the biggest games.’
“He’s the guy who, when we face a really tough team and we game plan to take away their best player, his hand is always the first to go up. He wants that matchup.”