Rebels bounce Bruins to claim Bell City Invitational

BY CHRIS QUEBEDEAUX

SPORTS EDITOR

BELL CITY – Coming off a subpar showing in Hathaway Tournament a week earlier, Midland coach Todd Briley was wondering if his team had what it took to turn things around.

Briley got the answer he was looking for Saturday when his Rebels (5-2) manhandled Bell City, dropping the Bruins 52-35 in the finals of their own tournament.

The victory avenged a 43-38 loss to the Bruins (6-1) in the opening round of the Hathaway Tournament.

“Today was the best we played so far, because we guarded,” said Briley after the victory. “We hadn’t played defense yet this year. We didn’t know what was wrong with these guys, but they showed me a lot tonight. Maybe we can build on this and start moving in the right direction. This might turn our season around because we haven’t been real tough and real aggressive until tonight.”

The Rebels stepped it up from the opening tip, limiting the hot-shooting Bruins to just five points in the opening quarter before charging out to a 26-12 advantage at the half.

Colby Gantt sparked the Rebels in the first quarter, draining three long range three-pointers to push the Rebels out to a 13-5 lead. Gantt finished with 15 points.

Miles Sonnier took over in the second quarter, scoring 11 of his game-high 21 points in the frame.

BJ Cormier was the man in the third quarter, scoring eight points while Gantt and Sonnier combined for nine to push the lead to 45-23.

Midland went on to score just seven points in the final quarter, mainly because Briley elected to pull the ball out with nearly four minutes left to work on the Rebels’ spread offense.

“We wanted to spread it out,” said Briley of the final quarter. “When teams get desperate, they start to chase and we wanted to work on that.”

The Rebels defeated Lacassine 57-46 in the first round before dropping Elizabeth 57-37 in the semifinals.

Sonnier poured in 51 points in the three games while Gantt followed with 46 and Cormier scored 43.

Also contributing were Allen Fontenot with 16 points; Andrew Hains with four; Michael Vincent with three and TJ Gautreaux with two.

The Rebels will be in action again on Nov. 11 when they host Northside. Their game against Glemora today has been canceled.

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