MIDLAND – There was a time that the Midland Rebels and Holden Rockets were in a blow-for-blow battle Tuesday night.
That lasted for most of the first quarter; then with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter, the Rebels started pulling away.
They didn’t look back and walked away with an 87-44 first round playoff victory.
“It was a pretty good night,” said MHS Coach Todd Briley.
In that first quarter, though, Midland and Holden traded shots, points and rebounds. Neither team could miss.
But momentum fell its way to the No. 6-seeded Rebels as Midland scored 11 unanswered points. It was the beginning of the end for the Rockets.
“We couldn’t stop them early on, we’d hit a shot, they’d hit one right back,” said Briley. “Finally we got it going.”
In the second quarter, Midland outscored Holden 28-2. It was just the distance Midland would need to cement the win, but it would also push Rockets to get extra physical in the game and, in turn, so would Midland.
Still no injuries occurred and Midland will be full strength for Friday’s second round home game against Lacassine. That game is slated for 6:30 p.m.
The second quarter was Midland’s shining moment. It also helped showcase the Rebels’ prowess offensively and defensively.
Midland shot 55 percent from the floor Tuesday, but that only was part of the story. Many of the Rebels’ points came off of fast breaks.
Turnovers were the second part of Midland’s story as the Rebels ran away with the first round win. With four blocks and 16 steals, Midland created points over and over again throughout the night and Holden could not find an answer. In fact, it took from midway through the second quarter until midway through the third quarter for the Rockets to net points again.
And while the Rebels took the victory, Briley already knows it cannot afford a slow defensive start in the future if it wants a long playoff run this year.
“The only negative I could see was I don’t think we came out ready to play,” he said. “If we do things like that against better teams, we’ll find ourselves in holes we can’t dig out of.”
The Rebels all had a big night, but it was senior Alan Vondenstein that had possibly the best night.
“Vondenstein had a really good night,” said Briley. “He’s really at his best when he attacks the goal, he did that tonight.
“But it wasn’t just Von, Randy shot the ball tonight especially late in the game.”
Vondenstein led the Rebels on the night with 25 points, shooting 80 percent from the floor. He also added two offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds, two blocks and five steals. Darren Arceneaux and Stephen Primeaux added 13 points each and Jake Gautreaux and Randy Primeaux added 11 each. Devin Gautreaux rounded out Midland with nine points.
Kendale Cooper with 13 points and Andrew Carlton with 12 points led the Rockets Tuesday.