The nightcap of a crazy evening saw Midland (17-5, 4-0) being pushed to the limit by district foe Hathaway before the Rebels escaped with a 51-43 victory.
And the game was even closer than the 8-point margin of victory suggests.
“I think the boys played hard with good effort and tried hard,” said Midland coach Todd Briley. “We just don’t manage games well and are not making good decisions.”
The Rebels entered the second quarter up by nine points, but by halftime, the Hornets had closed the gap and pulled within two (23-21).
“We couldn’t get tips, couldn’t get deflections and couldn’t get easy buckets; that hurt us,” said Briley.
The Rebels got off to an aggressive and fast start, but that aggression came at a price for Midland and Hathaway would capitalize. It was one of the main reasons why the Rebels and Hornets, round three, went down to the wire once again.
“We got into foul trouble early, which has been a problem for us all year,” said Briley. “We need to cut that out because that takes away our aggressiveness.”
It wasn’t just the early foul trouble that raised the collective eyebrow of the Rebels and their fans, though, it was the way the team was committing the fouls.
“We have to work on those fouls,” he said. “A lot of the problem is that they are unnecessary fouls. We’re fouling them away from the bucket, gambling fouls because we’re out of position or jumping on somebody else’s back. That’s why we’re getting into foul trouble. It’s not that we’re fouling them on a layup or something like that. It’s that we’re fouling 90 feet from the basket.”
Midland has struggled all season to find consistency scoring. The young team has used its aggressive defense to help dictate the game, but in several instances, like it almost did tonight, that aggression proved to be more of a problem than an aid to the Rebels. After the first quarter, Midland had seven fouls and ended up with nine at halftime. Midland also spent most of the second quarter missing shots and adding to team’s frustrations.
However, coming out of the half, Midland’s aggressiveness returned and shots also began to fall.
For Hathaway the opposite was true; the team that spent the second quarter hitting shots and limiting Midland’s second chance opportunities lost their edge in third quarter and Midland once again put a little distance between themselves and their foes.
“We don’t shoot the ball extremely well,” said Briley. “Thankfully, in the second half, Andrew (Hains) hit a few shots and that helped us.”
The Rebels were led by Allen Fontenot with 16 points while Hains followed close behind with 15. Alan Vondenstein added eight points; Chase Vincent scored five; Traven Guidry had four and Michael Primeaux finished with three.
Midland and Hathaway have now met three times this year. The teams met in Hathaway for game two of the Hathaway tournament, Midland won 46-40; they met again at the Bell City tournament where the Rebels won 47-33. Hathaway will have one more shot at revenge on February 1, 2011 when the Rebels will travel to Hathaway.
But first, Midland will host Grand Lake Tuesday night while Hathaway will host Lacassine.
In the first game of the night, the news was not as good for the Lady Rebels.
Hathaway defeated Midland by a score of 66-41 to move to 17-5 (5-1 in district 7-B) on the year. The Lady Rebels, meanwhile dropped to 5-17 and 1-2.
The Lady Rebels were led by Morgan Clement and Hailey Guidry with 10 and eight points respectively. Hannah Fremaux added six points in the loss while Katie Woods and Katie Primeaux each had six. Callie Duhon and Maci Premo each scored two.