Midland tops ESA; Sacred Heart slips past Lady Rebels

MIDLAND – Even on a bad night the Midland Rebels are still good enough to beat most of the teams they play.

Such was the case again Monday night, when the Rebels overcame another sub-par shooting performance from the field to roll past Episcopal School of Acadiana, 58-33, in a District 7-B matchup.

With the victory, Midland improved to 22-2 overall and 3-0 in league play. ESA fell to 13-12 and 1-2.

“Against Lacassine, we didn’t shoot the ball well at all and then we came down the court and started shooting quick, bad shots and let them get back into the game,” Midland coach Todd Briley said afterward, alluding to last Friday’s district game at Lacassine in which the Rebels experienced shooting woes.

“I thought tonight, we were patient and we worked the ball. We made two or three extra passes, unlike the other night, and we ended up getting some high-percentage shots. That was a big improvement from last game.”

The Rebels shot just 30 percent from the field during the first three quarters and would have been in trouble had it not been for the hot hand of Chase Vincent, who was virtually unstoppable from beyond the arch.

The senior guard accounted 15 points in the first three frames with five 3-pointers. He added a steal and a layup in the fourth quarter to finish the night with a game-high 17 points.

“Chase shot the ball well tonight,” said Briley. “He’s actually the only one who shot it from the outside. But we’ve got to get Andrew (Hains) and Jake (Gautreaux) shooting the ball better. That’s hurting us right now. We’re going to Alan (Vondenstein) more and he’s doing pretty good. They are starting to double down on him so those other guys need to start hitting them from the outside.”

Vondenstein did most of the damage on the inside with 10 points. The junior forward barely missed out on a triple/double with seven rebounds and nine assists.

“Alan can find the open man,” said Briley of Vondenstein, who picked up four assists in the fourth quarter by hitting cutters in the lane when he was double teamed. “His vision and his ability to make difficult passes is one of his strongest points really.”

Vondenstein’s four assists and five points in the final eight minutes helped Midland pull away.

The Rebels took a 37-25 lead into the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach in the first three minutes by going on an 11-0 run.

From there, the reserves took the court and outscored the Falcons 10-8 to close out the game.

Gautreaux, who normally leads the Rebels from the outside, was limited to driving layups and finished with 10 points.

Michael Primeaux had Midland ’s only other 3-pointer on the night and had seven points. Darren Arceneaux added six points, Cody Stutes scored three, Devin Gautreaux and Traven Guidry each had two and Randy Primeaux rounded out the scoring with one.

Sacred Heart 55

Lady Rebels 46

The Midland Lady Rebels rallied from an 11-point deficit twice to tie the game and trailed by only five with two minutes remaining but that was as close as they would get against the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart fended off a late rally and outscored the Lady Rebels 5-1 in the closing minutes to hang on for the victory.

“We have struggled to close out games like this,” said Midland coach Joanna Tate. “We’re still making mental mistakes that young teams make. We’ve have closed out a couple of games that were really close, but we’re learning every day. We beat ourselves a lot, but we’ll look at this one tomorrow and, hopefully, we’ll get better from it.”

Midland trailed 21-12 midway through the second quarter and went into the half down 27-20.

Midland’s Katie Woods drilled a 3-pointer to start the third quarter and back-to-back baskets by Maci Premo tied the game at 27-27.

Sacred Heart responded with a run of their own and outscored the Lady Rebels 10-2 in the final five minutes to take a 37-29 advantage into the final frame.

The Lady Rebels cut the lead to 50-45 with two minutes remaining in the game but back-to-back turnovers and five Sacred Heart frees sealed the victory.

Midland was led by Kristen Breaux with 10 points. Premo, Woods and Haley Guidry each pitched in seven points, Melody Hebert added six, Bethany LeJeune scored four, Tori Craigen had three and Elizabeth Istre had two.

Midland returns to action Friday when the Rebels play host to Hathaway.

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