Midland Rebels top Grand Lake for District 7-B title
GRAND LAKE – With just one starter returning from last year’s state runnerup squad, most people fully expected the Midland Rebels to be in a rebuilding phase during the 2010-11 season.
Obviously, the Rebels didn’t buy into that thinking.
Instead, they added to their school’s storied basketball tradition, wrapping up their fourth straight District 7-B championship when they routed Grand Lake, 74-44, Thursday at Grand Lake.
“I pulled some of the younger guys together last year, even before the season ended, and we made a list of goals,” said Midland coach Todd Briley. “The top goal was for this year’s team, those young guys, was to win district.
“At the end of December last year, we started putting them in the weight room everyday after practice and spending extra time with them just to get them ready because we figured this year would be tough.
“That was the goal and we’ve steadily gotten better as the year went on and they achieved that goal. That’s a big accomplishment for these kids.”
Midland, which entered Thursday’s contest one game ahead of Bell City for the overall title, put the clamps on the championship early.
The Rebels battled through early foul trouble and were able to take an 18-9 advantage in the first quarter.
They then broke the game open, outscoring the hosts, 27-13, in the second quarter for a 45-22 advantage at the break.
“I thought we played hard and pretty much dominated them in the first half,” said Briley, whose team finished the regular season at 22-9 overall and 7-1 in league play. “We got after them with our pressure and the crumbled pretty much from that.”
Andrew Hains, Darren Arceneaux and Alan Vondenstein did most of the first half damage as Allen Fontenot, the Rebels’ leading scorer, was held scoreless.
“Allen’s shot selection wasn’t that good tonight,” said Briley of Fontenot, who finished the game with 14 points. “He took some shots that were tough to make and it frustrated him a little bit. But he’ll be alright.”
Hains scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the first half while Arceneaux came off the bench in the second quarter and scored all 14 of his points in the frame. Vondenstein was also a presence in the lane, scoring 12 of his 17 points in the first 16 minutes.
“Andrew stepped up and had a big game for us,” said Briley. “He played really well and gave us a spark.
“And our two big boys (Arceneaux and Vondenstein)... We got some good output out of them.”
Fontenot hit his stride in the third quarter when he scored eight points to help lead the Rebels on a 22-7 run.
The Rebels’ reserves took the court in the fourth frame and were outscored 15-7.
“We did let up some in the second half,” said Briley. “But the game was being called so tight. We didn’t need to foul so we just tried to handle the ball and let the clock run down.”
Chase Vincent also contributed in the victory with four points while Jake Gautreaux added three and Traven Guidry scored two.
The news wasn’t as good for the Lady Rebels in the opening game of the night.
The Lady Rebels also battled foul trouble in their 49-38 loss to the Lady Hornets.
Midland struggled to get going early on and fell behind 10-4 in the first quarter before the Lady Hornets took a 24-11 cushion into the intermission.
Morgan Clement, Hannah Fremaux, Katie Primeaux and Haley Guidry were also limited in the first half after each picked up three fouls in the opening frame.
The Lady Rebels made a run in the third quarter, cutting the lead to eight (33-25) with just under two minutes remaining following three straight 3-pointers from Fremaux and one from Katie Woods.
However, Grand Lake answered with a 3-pointer and took a 36-25 lead into the fourth quarter.
Another 3-pointer from Woods and a layup by Melody Hebert got the Lady Rebels within seven (39-32) with 4:31 remaining in the game.
But Fremaux, Guidry and Primeaux each picked up their fifth fouls shortly after and Grand Lake took full advantage by going on a 10-6 run to end the game.
Fremaux and Hebert led the Lady Rebels with 11 and nine points respectively. Clement followed with eight points, Woods scored six and Guidry finished with four.