Todd said SCC players working; boys season amps up

Published 12:03 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

LAPLACE — The St. Charles Catholic boys basketball team was practicing full out Wednesday afternoon with second-year coach Kemper Todd.

On the one hand, Todd was working to get his team better following a string of tough losses. On the other, he’s trying to get the young Comets ready for this weekend’s Northlake Christian Tournament.

“That’s one of the things we do well is work hard,” Todd said.

After opening the season with a solid 63-39 win over Pope John Paul II, the Comets dropped a tough game to the Jaguars on Tuesday. They’ll get a rubber match on Saturday as part of the tournament. St. Charles dropped another one to Hannan, 63-41, on Thursday and was scheduled to play host team Northlake Christian Friday night.

Like all the other River Parishes schools that have to deal with lengthy football seasons, Todd is still trying to get his players into shape.

“They still have that football clumsiness about them,” he said. “Our goal is just to get better daily, and we’re working that way. We’re definitely vastly improved over last year.”

Leading the team in scoring is senior captain Jobe Kelly with 15 points per game.

Junior Jordan Arceneaux is putting up 14 points per game.

East St. John

East St. John boys basketball coach Yussef Jasmine was somewhat disappointed with his team’s showing in the annual Sugar Bowl CYO Tournament held last weekend.

The Wildcats, who won the 2014 tournament for the first time, fell to eventual champion St. Paul’s 77-60 in the quarterfinals on Dec. 4. They then defeated Rummel 52-42 in a consolation game on Dec. 5 to even their record at 3-3.

“We expected to get to the championship game again,” Jasmine said. “Obviously, St. Paul’s is a pretty good team. They won it all.”

Now the team faces a fairly extensive layoff before its next game, which is scheduled for Tuesday at Lake Area New Tech. Jasmine said that was by design.

“Last year we played in back-to-back-to-back tournaments,” he said.  “It was too much. I learned from that.”


Riverside Academy went through the entire 2014 season without losing a game to a Louisiana opponent. The same won’t be said this season.

Just days after the Rebels football team lost its bid for the Division III state championship, the basketball team, which includes many of the same players, lost the season-opener to West Jefferson, 58-49, on Tuesday.

“We just weren’t ready,” Coach Timmy Byrd said. “We aren’t in any kind of basketball shape and we only had one practice.”

In addition to that, starting point guard Jared Butler, who suffered a severely sprained neck while playing quarterback in the football game, missed Tuesday’s opener.

Of course the Rebels have a lot of games to be played before March when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association will crown its basketball champions. It’s still a good bet that Riverside — the three-time defending Class 2A state champions — will be in Lake Charles to defend its streak.  But it won’t be easy.

The Rebels, the No. 1-ranked team in MaxPreps’ Louisiana poll, faced No. 4 University High Thursday night and lost, 73-63. They play No. 3 Scotlandville — the last Louisiana team to beat the Rebels prior to this week — on Tuesday.

West St. John

West St. John, another team that went deep into the football playoffs, also started its season late. The Rams opened on Wednesday with a 65-60 overtime loss to Crescent
City. But they came back strong on Thursday, taking East Iberville to overtime before losing 80-76.

By Lori Lyons