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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Trojans lose heartbreaker against East St. John

Trojans lose heartbreaker against East St. John

The Central Lafourche boys’ basketball team lost in just about the worst way possible on Friday night against East St. John.

In the end, it was a highly controversial call, then the most unlikely of shots that doomed the Trojans and gave the Wildcats the win.

Central and East St. John battled throughout Friday’s game, which was played in Mathews. The teams were tied at 60 with .9 seconds left, and the Trojans had the ball under their own basket.

That’s when the mayhem started.

Central sophomore David Robinson’s long inbounds pass was tipped, then corralled by East St. John senior guard Raekwon McKnight. After a quick dribble, McKnight heaved a buzzer beater shot from halfcourt, which rattled home as time expired.

Officials ruled the shot good, which gave East St. John a 63-60 win. The Wildcats dogpiled in front of the Trojans bench to celebrate the improbable victory, which was highly controversial to say the least.

Basketball rules dictate that the clock is supposed to start off an inbounds as soon as it is touched. The clock did not appear to start once the inbounds pass was tipped, which gave the Wildcats just enough time to attempt the long, miraculous try.

The loss ends the Trojans regular season with a 19-9 record.

“You can’t tip it, catch it, dribble it, then shoot it in ninth-tenths of a second,” Trojans coach Mark Sanders said.

“I think that situation wasn’t handled properly. But look, it’s on us for being in that situation. We didn’t do what we needed to do to finish the game strong enough to win.”

Friday night’s game was a roller coaster affair. The Trojans stormed out of the gates early, riding a large Senior Night crowd to an early 15-8 lead after the first quarter.

Not wanting to be outdone, the Wildcats stormed back, dominating the second quarter by a 20-10 clip to go into halftime with a 28-25 lead.

The second half was wild.

The Trojans steadied themselves in the third quarter and retook the lead, opening a 42-39 advantage after three quarters.

In the fourth, Central ballooned that advantage up to 52-43 with four minutes to go.

But the Wildcats battled back, using clutch offense down the stretch to keep the game close. East St. John retook the lead – 57-56 with a minute to go. They led again 60-59 with 32 seconds to go, before the Trojans got a free throw to tie the game up.

The Wildcats thought they’d get the last shot, but they turned over the ball to the Trojans with .9 on the clock – a mistake that seemed costly at the time. But in reality, it enabled the miracle to ensue.

Sanders said he’s disappointed in how his team executed late in the game.

“It’s been a problem all season,” Sanders said. “We’ve been in just about every game. We just don’t go for 32 full minutes.”

With the loss, the Trojans now cannot host a home playoff game in the Class 5A Playoffs, which start Friday. Central Lafourche will now travel to East Ascension.
Tarpons roar into 4A playoff field

The South Lafourche boys’ basketball team is going to the playoffs, as well. The Tarpons punched their ticket into the Class 4A field last Tuesday with a dominant 68-43 win over South Terrebonne.

The win ends South Lafourche’s season with an even 13-13 record, including a 7-3 runner-up mark in District 7-4A.

Tarpons coach Brian Callais said after beating Assumption on Feb. 12 that he couldn’t be prouder of the way the team has battled throughout the season.

South Lafourche has won six of its last seven games to end the season.

“We’ve been really a team that’s stuck together,” Callais said. “Everyone’s had each other’s backs throughout the season, and that’s allowed us to keep fighting every Tuesday and Friday night.”

The game against the Gators was close early on, before the Tarpons pulled away.

South Terrebonne led 12-9 after the first quarter, taking advantage of a turnover-prone offensive attack from the Tarpons.

In the second quarter, South Lafourche battled back, using balanced scoring to take a 29-26 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the rout was on. South Lafourche outscored the Gators 18-5, storming out to a 16-point lead.

In the fourth, it never got close, and the Tarpons soared to a win.
Shak Dillon led South Lafourche with 24 points. Seth Borne had 16.

The Tarpons will now travel to New Orleans to take on Edna Karr Friday night.