Basketball: Bonnabel battles past Riverside, 55-52

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RESERVE – Going on the road to face tough competition will make you tougher.

Bonnabel got the memo and the win Friday night, battling past Riverside late for a 55-52 victory.

Louisiana Tech signee Will Allen was a force, scoring 22 points, pulling down 16 rebounds and blocking six shots. He added an assist and a steal.

“At halftime, coach got on out butts about hustle and rebounding,” Allen said. “I came out, had the mindset about rebounding and that worked for us. That was a good team we faced but we set it up for me to go one-on-one on the box and I had to score. Coach Micah has been on us about defense, defense since our loss to EJ (East Jefferson).”

The first quarter saw Riverside open on a 4-0 run before Bonnabel went on a pair of 7-0 runs, the first to take a 7-4 lead and the second to take a 14-6 lead. The Rebels closed the quarter on an 8-2 run and Bonnabel led 16-14 at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter saw six lead changes and a tie as the two sides traded punches. Bonnabel closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 25-23 lead at the half. Riverside had seven turnovers in the quarter.

Allen had eight points, five rebounds, two blocks an assist and a steal in the half for the Bruins while Gage Larvadain had 10 points, four rebounds, a block and a steal for the Rebels.

Riverside came out smoking in the third quarter, opening on a 7-0 run to take a 30-25 lead but Bonnabel closed the quarter on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 42-38 going to the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, there were four lead changes and four ties.

Riverside took a 50-48 lead on two free throws by Samajia McClendon with 2:52 to play but Bonnabel took over the rest of the way.

Shawn Knight, who did not score in the first three quarters, scored eight points in the final quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers against the 2-3 zone of the Rebels.

Nomar Dijol finished with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers while Theo Johnson added eight points and six rebounds for Bonnabel.

“We want to play tough competition,” Bonnabel coach Micah Hagans said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to play Coach (Timmy) Byrd. He’s a Hall of Fame caliber coach, has a great program. Gage is an amazing player. We wanted that challenge. That’s why we scheduled the game, so that we can be tested. Shawn is a sophomore who is figuring it out. He can really shoot it. He gave us a spark.

Hagans was happy with the performance of Allen in the second half.

“Will sprained his ankle in the first half but he got it taped up and started playing well,” Hagans said. “He got some big second chance points for us in the second half. I want to play the toughest schedule we can possibly play. When you get to the playoffs, you know you can do it because you have done it.”

Samajia McClendon led the Rebels with 17 points and six rebounds while Larvadain had 16 points with nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block but he was shutout in the fourth quarter and had eight turnovers. David Reynaud had 10 points, all in the second half. Riverside made just 4-of-21 shots from 3-point range.

“We shot terrible,” Byrd said. “We just didn’t take care of the basketball. I think we got up by seven in the third quarter and we had a chance to really extend the lead to double-digits but missing layups, making the wrong decision in the offense, our guard play was not good tonight.

“We picked the wrong time for our best players not to play well. We just had one of those nights. This was one of those games and you can’t have that kind of game against Bonnabel which is well coached with a lot of talent.”

The taller Bruins outrebounded Riverside 37-28.

Both teams return to action next Tuesday night. Bonnabel (15-4), fifth in the most recent LHSAA Class 5A power rankings, will open District 8-5A play at Higgins at 7 p.m. while Riverside (8-6), second in the Division II power rankings, has lost four straight and is set to travel to Parkview Baptist at 7 p.m.

“Our goal is to get a top four seed to get playoff games at home,” Allen said.

Final
RA 14 9 19 10 — 52
BON 16 9 13 14 — 55

Scoring:

RA—Samajia McClendon 17, Gage Larvadain 16, David Reynaud 10, Andre Murphy 5, Tairyn Lockhart 4

BON—Will Allen 22, Nomar Dijol 11, Shawn Knight 8, Theo Johnson 8, Vandell Smith 3, Benard Hubbard 2, Jacqu’ee Jefferson 1

Rebounds:
Bonnabel 38, Riverside 28

Turnovers:
Bonnabel 21, Riverside 18

Assists:
Bonnabel 12, Riverside 6

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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