The West Monroe boys basketball team overcame another second act to hold off a pesky Ruston team 62-53 in the semifinals of the 2017 Sidney Smith Invitational at West Monroe High School on Friday. Known many times this year for getting off to a big start but not holding a big lead in the middle stages of games, the Rebels (10-4) won the third game in as many days.
West Monroe led 27-9 after the first quarter. Ruston then outscored West Monroe by 12 in the second quarter to cut the Rebel lead to 32-26 at halftime.
“Déjà vu is kind of the name of this team,” West Monroe coach Kyle Hill said. “We are getting off to really good starts and then we are just deciding to stop playing the game the right way. We have not figured out that doing things the right way is why you get off to those good starts and we revert back to making really poor decisions.”
Senior forward Langston Powell then took over in the fourth quarter to power the Rebels to the win.
Powell scored a game-high 20 points and tallied nine points in the final frame.
Chris Tyler joined Powell in double figures with 13 points while DJ Green chipped in 12 points.
West Monroe will meet one of the top 2A teams in the state and best teams in the NELA-area on Saturday when the Rebels host the Rayville Hornets in the championship of the tournament.
Rayville dispatched Ouachita 81-67 on Friday to reach the Sidney Smith Invitational finals. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Rebel Gymnasium.
In other action, the West Monroe Lady Rebels lost to Iota 47-30.
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