Iowa slips past Midland in overtime; Lady Rebels top Yellow Jackets

IOWA – The Midland Rebels are usually the team that pushes the pace and forces teams into bad decisions.
Iowa, however, looked more like the aggressor Monday.
Iowa forced the Rebels into an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers and rallied to defeat Midland, 76-71, in overtime at the Yellow Jackets’ home gym.
“Iowa is the quickest team we have played,” said Midland coach Todd Briley, whose team suffered its first loss in 10 outings. “Those guys have some team speed. I consider us to be fairly quick, but we couldn’t match their speed at all.”
Midland’s normally tenacious defense was overwhelmed by Iowa’s speed and athletic ability, especially in the fourth quarter when the Yellow Jackets rallied from a six-point deficit to tie the game at 63-63 at the end of regulation.
“On the defensive end, we just didn’t get the stops we needed,” said Briley. “When you have the lead, you have to come down and get stops. We just continued trading buckets.”
The Rebels aided in the rally by committing six turnovers in the frame and they went just 3-for-13 from the floor in the final eight minutes.
“We had a lot of wasted possessions, especially down the stretch,” said Briley, whose team led 51-45 midway through the fourth quarter. “We had a six-point lead and then we came down and took some quick shots and didn’t work. I felt like we could have worked a little bit and we probably would have got some easy layups and maybe extended the lead. We just didn’t make real good decisions on some of the shots we took.”
The Rebels also struggled from the charity stripe, connecting on just 14 of 28 attempts while shooting just under 37 percent from the floor on the night.
But the sluggish offensive performance was not what bothered Briley; it was his team’s defensive effort that he was more concerned about.
At one point, the Yellow Jackets scored on seven straight possessions.
“There are going to be nights where you struggle offensively, but those are the nights where you really count on being tough and determined (defensively),” said Briley. “We didn’t do that. You are going to have bad nights, but if you can guard them and stop them, you will have a chance to win the game. We just had to be a little tougher than we were.
“I thought our kids did try hard, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Rebels kept it close in overtime and trailed 72-71 following a basket by Traven Guidry.
The Yellow Jackets answered with a pair of free throws and added two more freebies following a 3-point attempt by Jake Gautreaux that was off the mark.
Gautreaux led the Rebels with a game-high 23 points. He scored just four in the first half before pouring in 10 points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth.
“One thing about Jake is that even when he is struggling, he doesn’t get discouraged,” said Briley of Gautreaux. “He could miss a bunch in a row but you still want him to have it. He could miss 20 in a row, but he’ll be the one to hit the one to win the game for you.”
Darren Arceneaux had a big first half for the Rebels, scoring eight of his 17 points in the first quarter to help Midland take a 15-13 advantage.
Randy Primeaux also hit double figures with 11 points while Devin Gautreaux had eight and Nick Primeaux had seven. Guidry rounded out the scoring with five points.
The Midland Lady Rebels were down two starters, but that didn’t seem to faze them much Monday.
Elizabeth Istre and Tori Craigen filled the void and combined for 24 points to help lead the Lady Rebels to a 49-37 victory over Iowa.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we got the W,” said MHS coach Joanna Tate, whose team improved to 11-3 with the victory. “It was a good game for us. For them to pick up the slack with two starters out, it was big. The girls rallied together and they played hard.”
The Lady Rebels actually trailed 23-22 at the half before taking a 36-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
From there, it was all Midland.
Istre poured in seven points in the final eight minutes and the Lady Rebels’ defense limited Iowa to just four points.
“We started doing what we needed against them in the third and fourth quarter,” said Tate. “Especially in the fourth quarter, we started playing solid man-to-man defense and we started to get good ball movement on offense.”
Istre scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half to lead the Lady Rebels.
“Elizabeth did really well in the post tonight,” said Tate of Istre. “The guards were doing a good job of getting the ball inside and we started getting more looks there.”
Katie Woods and Brooke Comeaux each added nine points. Woods also had four steals and Comeaux had six assists.
Craigen dropped in a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished the night with eight points while Macy Hoffpauir pitched in six and Nicole Kraut had two. Hoffpauir also grabbed 12 rebounds.
“We’re getting there, but we’re still not playing our best basketball right now,” said Tate. “The girls are working hard and doing what they need to do.
“We’re nowhere near where we need to be, but that’s not a bad thing. You want to be playing your best basketball down the stretch.”
Both the Rebels and the Lady Rebels will be in action again on Tuesday when they play host to former district rival Centerville.

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