Young Lady Rebels show potential

Published 12:05 am Saturday, December 28, 2019

LAPLACE — The Riverside Academy girls basketball team faces unique challenges when it comes to youth and experience on the court. There are four middle schoolers in the Lady Rebels’ varsity rotation, and the rest of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores with only one junior and one senior.

What they lack in experience, they make up for in work ethic, according to head coach Kevin Dizer. The team comes to every practice with a good attitude, ready to work.

That fighting spirit paid off at the beginning of the season as the Lady Rebels blasted off to a 5-0 start against equal competition, taking wins against Kentwood, Eleanor McMain, Family Christian, St. John and Central Private.

Early season fire fell into a slump in the latter half of December. Faced with rigorous matches from experienced teams over a tough two-week stretch, the record declined to 5-8. However, Dizer remains hopeful the team will make an impact in district competition.

“We’re 5-8 right now, but we are playing well,” Dizer said. “We’re extremely young. There are situations where it can be frustrating, but at the same time, it’s really fun. When you look to the future, it’s so bright with these girls. I think they are ahead of schedule, and we are having a blast together.”

Seventh grader Imani Daniel is shining bright as a frontrunner on the court. She averages 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Dizer has referred to her performances as “unbelievable.”

Chloe Simon, the sole junior on the team, is pulling her weight and adding an average of 13 points per game for Riverside Academy.

Fundamentals are the focus during practice, according to Dizer.

“The main thing we have to work on is ball handling with this group,” Dizer said. “From there, it’s just shot selection and taking good shots. We are working on pivot foot and catching passes, the most simplistic things.”

When the Lady Rebels return to the court on Jan. 9, they will be faced with tough competition from French Settlement. Dizer said the game against Lutcher on Jan. 10 would present another challenge.

The following week begins District play. District competition includes games against West St. John, St. Martin’s Episcopal, Metairie Park Country Day and Crescent City.

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