St. Louis ends Midland's 16-game winning streak
MIDLAND – The St. Louis Saints fended off a late rally and went on a 14-2 run in the final four minutes to claim a 65-52 victory over Midland Friday in a tuneup game before the LHSAA boys’ state playoffs begin next week.
The victory for St. Louis avenged 53-50 loss to Midland early in the season and also ended the Rebels’ 16-game winning streak.
“I think this was a good tuneup game for both of us,” said St. Louis coach Butch Sigler, following the contest. “Midland is a great team and I’m sure they will bounce back after this and make a deep run in the playoffs.
“And, hopefully, it will give us some momentum because we’re a big underdog going into the Class AAAA playoffs.”
Midland was forced to do a bit of running Friday after the Saints went on a 17-7 run in the second quarter to take a 31-23 advantage at the half. St. Louis standout guards Keelan Garrett and Kevin Hardy each scored seven points in the frame.
“We just had too many turnovers early on and our shot selection wasn’t good,” said MHS coach Todd Briley. “We shot some quick ones in the second quarter that they just brought back the other way and made layups.”
St. Louis extended its lead to 49-38 behind three 3-pointers from Garrett, Jordan Williams and Dan Piper, but the Rebels continued to battle.
B.J. Cormier drained three 3-pointers and Miles Prejean hit one in the first three plus minutes of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one (51-50) with 4:29 remaining.
As quickly as the rally began, it also ended.
The Saints reeled off 10 straight points in a matter of two minutes to regain a comfortable lead and seal the victory.
“We played hard and made a run at them early in the fourth quarter, but we have to play that hard the whole game,” said Briley. “We tried pretty hard tonight, but I thought we could have given a better effort.”
Prejean scored 13 of Midland’s 23 points in the first half and led the Rebels with 24. Cormier followed with 13 points, Allen Fontenot had nine and Colby Gantt had six.
Garrett and Hardy led the way for St. Louis with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Jordan Williams also hit double figures with 10 points.
“We’ll learn from this,” said Briley of the loss. “Everybody is healthy and has a good attitude right now and that’s what’s important. This game was good for us. We haven’t played somebody that good in a long time.”
Briley and his Rebels will find out their playoff fate Monday when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association releases the boys’ prep playoff brackets.
As of Friday, Midland was the No. 2 seed in the LHSAA’s unofficial power ratings behind No. 1 Rapides.