Rebels put freeze on Pios comeback bid
MIDLAND – Colby Gantt drained a pair of three point baskets and B.J. Cormier added a third trey as Midland took a quick lead and then scored the first nineteen points against Notre Dame Thursday night. It almost wasn’t enough.
After leading by as many as 19, Midland held off a fierce Notre Dame rally in the second half to defeat the visiting Pioneers, 49-36.
The Rebels improved to 13-3 on the season with the victory while the Pios fell to 3-6.
The Rebels rolled to a 22-4 first quarter lead. But in the second stanza, the Pios woke up to a decided size advantage and fought back into the game.
Brock Nolan scored eight points in the paint and Taylor Thibodeaux added a pair of inside buckets to pull Notre Dame within 29-22 at the half.
ND’s Charlie Ropp converted a free throw after being fouled on a driving layup that pulled the Pios within six to start the second half. Nolan answered a Rebels’ bucket by scoring off an inbounds pass to make it 35-29. That’s the closest Notre Dame could get as neither of the Pios big men would see the ball again inside.
Midland geared up a pesky perimeter defense that forced Notre Dame into turnovers and ill advised outside shots. B.J. Cormier hit two free throws and stole the inbounds for a lay-up that gave the Rebels a 41-31 lead after three quarters.
The Rebels took just three shots the entire final quarter. Midland went into the four-corner offense and ran almost three minutes off the clock without penetrating the free throw line.
With Notre Dame forced to foul, Cormier and Colby Gantt each went 4-for-4 from the free throw line for all Midland would need for a 49-36 win.
Cormier finished with 19 points to lead the Rebels. Gantt totaled 12 points for the game.
Also contributing in the victory were Allen Fontenot with six points, Michael Vincent with four and TJ Gautreaux with two.
Brock Nolan led Notre Dame with 12 points. Charlie Ropp scored six, John Nickel had five, Taylor Thibodeaux and Greg Gossen each scored four and Will Faulk added two points.