Rebels sew up victory over Lamar

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; That doggone Trinity.

Even though the Trinity Episcopal Saints had a Saturday that consisted of a morning workout and not much else, they were still giving Adams Christian a problem two days removed from their game at the ACCS gym.

The normal fast-breaking Rebels were ground a bit Saturday &045; due in part to Lamar’s somewhat sleepy 2-3 zone that didn’t allow the Rebels to do much running at all.

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But AC was able to defend the other side as well and take a 39-36 win over the Raiders Saturday at Bob Ulmer Gym to up their 2-AAA mark to 5-1.

&uot;They did a good job of slowing our running game down,&uot; Rebels head coach John Gray said. &uot;I give Trinity a lot of credit for our sluggishness. We exhausted most of our energy Thursday night for the rivalry and didn’t have any zip today. But I was proud they were able to hang in there and play. (Lamar) is an extremely talented team.&uot;

The contest was a little wake-up call for the Rebels against a team that’s much better than its record &045; the Raiders played just their second game this season with a full roster Saturday. But it also helped the Rebels continue fighting for the top overall spot in the district tournament early next month.

The Raiders, meanwhile, hope to get better by then.

&uot;They’re a good team, but this is one of the poorest offensive games we’ve played all year,&uot; Lamar head coach Steve Harber said. &uot;We’re not used to playing that kind of basketball. (The officials) called it a lot closer. We were really disappointed with the officiating. Adams has a good team, but with the fouling these kids didn’t know what to do. They were just so inconsistent.&uot;

The Rebels couldn’t find any consistency in their offense and had to rely on a defensive switch late in the game when the Raiders wouldn’t go away. After AC held a 31-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Raiders got two quick buckets from Austin Roebuck inside before he dumped in another following a basket on the other end from AC’s Glenn Williams.

But as soon as the Rebels sagged to try and stop Roebuck underneath, Lamar got 3-pointers from David Haggard, Taylor Dean and Matthew Fort to cut the lead to 38-34 with 11 seconds left.

Gray abandoned the man-to-man defense for their T-and-one setup, a variation of a box-and-one.

&uot;They’ve had those kids hurt all year, and we were lucky enough to get them back at full strength,&uot; Gray said. &uot;They’re a real good basketball team. We ran the T-and-one on their best shooter &045; No. 4 (Fort) is an extremely good athlete. They look to me one of the better teams we’ve played this year. I’m proud of our kids hanging in there and putting forth the effort to win.&uot;

Harber called a timeout after Fort’s triple to stop the clock and draw up a play, but the Raiders were forced to foul Dustin Case, who hit one of two after missing the front end of a one-and-one.

The shot put the lead at five, and Fort’s bucket at the buzzer counted for the two-point difference. The Raiders, now 1-2 in 2-AAA, struggled in the first half by scoring just seven points and couldn’t get their inside game going with Roebuck on the block.

&uot;If you let them hold us on the inside like they were doing, you can run any defense you want,&uot; Harber said. &uot;It doesn’t matter if you’re in a 2-3, a matchup or a 1-2-2. If you hold him, you can do anything you want.&uot;