By Malcolm Butler
Joran Parker scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the first quarter to lead Ruston to a 66-31 win over Gibsland-Coleman Monday night at the RHS Gym.
Ruston (14-1) saw four players score in double figures as Zhy Scott (14), Aiden Anding (14) and Braylan McNeal (11) all hit the mark despite a shortened-game as a running clock was utilized for the majority of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter once the Bearcats built a 30-point lead.
“We were really sharp to start the game,” said RHS coach Ryan Bond. “Our ball movement was really crisp. We were really locked in on what we needed to do. When you make shots after good ball movement it looks a whole lot better too.”
Gibsland-Coleman (13-3) lost for only the third time this season. The Bulldogs other two losses came to Rayville (69-60) and Calvary Baptist (75-71).
“We knew they were without a couple of their players,” said Bond. “We have such a great group of guys, a bunch of fine young men. I liked our intensity. Our defensive intensity was there. We did what we needed to do to win the game.”
Parker hit three trifectas in the opening eight minutes of play as Ruston built a 21-9 advantage. The Bearcats kept the defensive pressure on in the second quarter, holding Gibsland-Coleman to only two points as RHS took a 39-11 lead into halftime. The game was never in jeopardy in the second half as Ruston extended its lead to as many as 41.
The 14-1 start is the best by the Bearcats in the last decade. Ruston has won seven straight since a 54-46 loss to Madison Prep on Dec. 3.
“I am happy for the guys,” said Bond. “They do all of the work. They should feel good about themselves. I told them to celebrate Christmas and enjoy spending time with their family. But we have a bigger goal (than a 14-1 start). The football set the standard high. Ultimately that is the goal, but we know we have to continue to improve.”
Bond said that the Bearcats would take a break for the Christmas holidays before returning to action. He said they had pulled out of the Sterlington Tournament and would instead play two days at the West Monroe Tournament. Ruston will face Wossman Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. and Calvary Baptist Dec. 30 at 3 p.m.
“It’s good and bad that we are having this break,” said Bond. “We are playing well. Sometimes its good to keep playing, but we are going to take six or seven days off and then come back and get ready for a tough Wossman team and a tough Calvary Baptist team over at the West Monroe Tournament.”