Midland advances to tournament finals
MIDLAND – On a night when points from the perimeter were at a minimum, the Midland Rebels made maximum use of the their inside game Wednesday to earn a berth in the finals of their own Holiday Spectacular Tournament.
Led by forwards Darren Arceneaux and Alan Vondenstein, who combined for 23 points and 21 rebounds, the Rebels defeated Class 3A Iowa, 43-33, to advance to last night’s championship game against Acadiana.
“This was one of Darren’s best games,” Midland coach Todd Briley said of Arceneaux, who scored a team-high 16 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Rebels improved to 16-1. “He got in there and got some boards and started giving us some offense.
“He’s getting better with his mid-range jumper. He’s come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago when we’d pass him the ball and he couldn’t even catch it.”
Vondenstein was also key early in the game, pulling down seven rebounds to go along with seven points in the lane before spending most of the second half on the bench due to foul trouble.
“Alan got in foul trouble and that kind of hurt us, but he did a good job when he was in there,” said Briley.
For the Rebels, the game was a struggle from the beginning.
The Yellow Jackets grabbed a 6-2 advantage in the first four minutes, but baskets by Arceneaux, Vondenstein and Andre Hains cut the lead to 8-7 with under a minute to go in the opening frame.
Michael Primeaux then hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer that finally gave Midland a 10-8 lead, but the Rebels continued to struggle offensively, mainly due to a 3-2 Iowa defense that had Midland’s core of 3-point shooters baffled.
“We have guys that can shoot it, but they’re not real quick shooters,” said Briley, whose team scored just 20 points in the half. “We didn’t get the looks. They (Iowa) closed out on us before we could get the shot off. That’s when we had to get the ball to Doobie (Arceneaux) and Alan.
“They extended their stuff and that’s why our guys were able to get those looks inside.”
The 20 first-half points was a season low for a Midland team averaging 61.7 points per outing. An uncharacteristic eight turnovers and a number of missed layups aided in the Rebels’ lack of offensive production.
“They were bothering us with their defense a little bit and we missed seven layups in the first quarter,” said Briley. “That’s 14 points right there.
“And the turnovers...those guys are quick and they make you play. We have to handle the ball better.”
Midland got off to a quick start in the third quarter and went on to outscore Iowa 9-5. The Rebels then went on a 12-5 run to start the fourth. Iowa chipped away with three 3-pointers in the final two minutes but the deficit was too much to overcome for the Yellow Jackets.
“They got in our stuff tonight,” said Briley of Iowa. “At times we did good and sometimes we made some mistakes.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the victory, but we’re going to have to play a lot better in the finals against Acadiana.”
Jake Gautreaux also had a solid performance for the Rebels with nine points. Primeaux added five, Chase Vincent scored four and Hains had two.
Gerald Marshal and Aaron Guillory led Iowa with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Lady Pios 80
What a difference a couple of hours can make.
After committing 23 turnovers in a 61-23 loss to Iota Wednesday morning, the Notre Dame Lady Pios reversed their misfortunes and claimed a dominating victory over Midland less than seven hours later.
“This was a huge win for us after the morning game,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot. “We needed a reason to smile. And it wasn’t just getting a win. We needed to play well and we needed to play well as a team and I think we did that tonight.
“We were seeing the floor and it looked like we had a little extra pep in our step. It didn’t look like that in the morning game.”
Notre Dame’s intensity was evident as soon as the game started. The Lady Pios opened the contest with a 3-pointer from Alex Miller and went on to outscore Midland 28-9.
It didn’t get any better for the Lady Rebels as Notre Dame took a 45-24 cushion before going on a 17-8 run in the third quarter.
Each team sent its reserves to the court in the fourth quarter and Notre Dame’s bench outscored Midland, 18-10 in the final eight minutes.
For Notre Dame, it was a balanced offense attack; 13 of 15 players on the roster scored.
“Almost everybody scored and we had three in double figures,” said Theriot. “We distributed the ball and we saw the floor. That was a confident team out there tonight.”
Sam Lyons and Marie Ledet led the charge with 15 points each .Alex Miller also hit double figures with 10.
Katherine Kirsch followed with eight points; Hanna Esthay had seven; Tori Onebane scored six; Gabbie Romero added five; Peyton Miller and Mallory Chiasson each scored three and Mary Charles, Liddy Rothermel, Elise LeBeouf and Elizabeth Dartez each scored two.
Melody Hebert paced Midland with nine points and Kristen Breaux added eight. Tori Craigen followed with six; Calli Duhon and Macy Hoffpauir each scored four; Haley Guidry had three and Nakia McZeal, Brooke Comeaux, Elizabeth Istre and Nicole Kraut each had two.