Luke leads Riverside girls in Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic

Posted by: Ed Daniels in Prep Sports


After 27 years at Vandebilt Catholic, and 24 playoff appearances, head coach Kathy Luke was eager for a new chapter.

She has found a new basketball life at Riverside Academy, and she says Reserve was the right place.

"Basketball is important at Riverside," said Luke.

Riverside Academy has won three of the last four boys state 2A basketball championships, including 2012.

Luke's basketball resume' would indicate that great days are ahead for the Rebels. At Vandebilt, her teams made seven top 28 appearances, and won a state championship in 2010.

She said she had success at Vandebilt Catholic because her teams rebounded well, made free throws, and defended.

She is a disciple of man-to-man defense. In fact, defense will be even more important as the Rebels attempt to overcome the loss of 6-foot-2 Kendra Turner. The 2012 St John Parish Most Valuable Player in volleyball, Turner decided not to play basketball this season.

But the Rebels still have talent.

Senior point guard Shannon Simmons is a mainstay. Luke said that sophomore Toni Hebert is the team's best perimeter shooter. Jaimaya Bolden is the team's best rebounder.

Luke has played a tough pre-district schedule. It included games against Mount Carmel, Karr, and St. Amant.

Luke said the competition in the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic will be "an awesome experience" for her ballclub.

She said her goal at Riverside is simple.

"We want to be one of the top programs in the state," said Luke. "We are not there, but hopefully we will be."

Luke was hired in May. She said there is much work to do but her girls are making progress.

A measuring stick for the Rebels will be their play in the 4th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic.