Briley logs 300th career coaching victory
By Chris Quebedeaux
MIDLAND – A smothering defense and a potent offense that produced three double-digit scorers propelled Midland’s Rebels to another season-opening victory Tuesday.
But it wasn’t just any victory.
No, Midland’s 80-58 victory over old district rival Centerville was a special one. Not only did it mark a victory over an old nemesis, but, more importantly, it marked a milestone in the career of Rebels’ head coach Todd Briley.
The victory was Briley’s 300th win at the Acadia Parish school, a mark reached at the start of just his 10th season. Overall, he is 300-87.
“I have had a lot of good players who have worked really hard since I’ve been here,” a smiling Briley said afterward. “You have to attribute those wins to all those players and the work that all of them have put in.”
The 33-year-old Briley began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2000. In his nine previous seasons, his Rebels have won seven district titles and advanced to the state playoffs nine times.
His 2009-20010 squad appears to be following the lead of his other teams as evidenced by their performance against Centerville.
The Rebels, who pride themselves in defense, forced Centerville into 11-first quarter turnovers (31 overall) and turned those into numerous points in transition.
Miles Prejean sparked the early onslaught, picking up three steals and scoring 15 points in the first eight minutes to help the Rebels a 20-9 advantage.
Prejean, who finished with a game-high 37 points, added nine more in the second quarter. B.J. Cormier, who chipped in 20 points, hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first and the second quarters to give Midland a 43-21 halftime lead.
“We couldn’t have played a much better first half than that,” said Briley. “We brought a lot of pressure early on and really rattled those guys. We’ve been working really hard on our full-court defense and conditioning and it showed tonight.”
Midland’s intensity slowed somewhat in the third quarter, allowing Centerville to cut the lead to 54-36.
Briley said it was attributable to a lack of focus.
“We just came out and didn’t concentrate as well in the third quarter,” said Briley. “It’s kind of like we relaxed and that’s always been kind of a weakness of ours. We got careless with the ball. We have to keep that killer instinct.”
Centerville cut the lead to 16 twice in the in the fourth quarter but that was as close as the Tigers could get.
Colby Gantt followed Prejean and Cormier on the offensive end with 16 points while Allen Fontenot had five points and Andrew Hains had two.
Midland’s Lady Rebels were also winners, topping Centerville, 45-22, in the opening game.
The Lady Rebels jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter before Centerville finally got on the board at the 1:21 mark with a free throw.
Midland pushed its lead to 30-6 at the break behind seven points from Morgan Clement in the second quarter.
Centerville made it 34-12 in the third quarter before the Lady Rebels outscored the Lady Tigers 11-10 in the final eight minutes.
Clement led all scorers with 13 points. She was followed by Haley Guidry and Melody Hebert with eight points each and Carisa Richard with six.
Also contributing in the victory were Hannah Fremaux with three points, Skylar Fruge and Naka McZeal with two points each and Katie Primeaux with one.