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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Trojans rolls into Round 2

Trojans rolls into Round 2

Last year, the Central Lafourche boys’ basketball team got beat on their home floor in the opening round of the Class 5A State Playoffs.

This year, the Trojans did the same thing to someone else.

Central Lafourche entered the playoffs as the No. 21 seed, which meant that the Trojans had to travel to Shreveport on Friday to take on No. 12 Southwood.

But one could hardly tell who the higher seeded team was on Friday, as the Trojans waxed the home-standing Southwood team from start-to-finish, rolling to a 69-54 win.

With the victory, the Trojans now move onto the Sweet 16, where they will take on No. 5 Ruston at home on Tuesday night. (Final score was not available as of press time. Check the Gazette’s website Wednesday for results).

But Trojans coach Mark Sanders didn’t want to talk about that game on Friday. He wanted to celebrate his team’s hard-fought road win.

“I’m proud of our guys. We did an excellent job getting out to a lead and staying on top throughout the game. The kids remembered the emotion of last year’s first-round game, and they were determined to walk off the court with a win tonight.”

There was never a doubt that the Trojans were going to roll through Southwood.

Central Lafourche controlled every minute of Friday night’s action, storming out of the gates to take a 22-6 lead after the first quarter of play.

The surge took Southwood’s crowd out of the game, and got the Trojans in rhythm. Central Lafourche smothered Southwood’s offense in the first half, which allowed the Trojans to storm out to a 36-16 halftime lead.

“We defended them well,” Sanders said. “We took advantage of our opportunities on both ends tonight. That was something that we struggled with at times this season, but we did a really nice job of that in this one.”

In the third quarter, Southwood’s hole grew deeper, and the Trojans fired out to a 54-30 advantage through three.
Southwood drew closer in the fourth quarter, but never could threaten victory, which allowed the Trojans to coast into the next round.

Quindon Charles led the Trojans with 19 points. Calvin Bentley pitched in 10.

The Trojans will be at home on Tuesday because of LHSAA rules, which mandate that teams who win on the road get a home game in the next playoff rotation.

Ruston is one of the best teams in Louisiana, owning a 24-8 mark on the season. They made it to the Sweet 16 after beating Parkway 66-38 in the opening round of the playoffs on Friday.

Looking at common opponents shows the difficulty of the matchup for Central. Ruston beat H.L. Bourgeois on Nov. 23 by a 67-62 tally. The Trojans played Bourgeois twice and lost both times.

Slow start dooms Tarps at Karr

South Lafourche played No. 3 Karr evenly for the final 28 minutes of Friday night’s game. The problem was that the first four minutes were absolutely rotten for the No. 30 Tarpons.

And that’s all the help that Karr needed to move onto the next round of the Class 4A State Playoffs.

The Cougars jumped out to a 13-0 lead, then a 22-3 edge over the Tarpons in the first quarter of Friday night’s Class 4A Playoff Game, which was played in Algiers.

The Tarpons eventually settled in and battled back, cutting Karr’s 20-point lead down to 11 in the fourth quarter before running out of gas, sealing the Cougars’ 61-45 win.

The loss ends South Lafourche’s season with a 13-14 record. But coach Brian Callais said he’s proud of the fight and moxie his team showed throughout the season.

“I love this basketball team,” Callais said. “They’ve fought adversity throughout the year, and we always gave our best effort. This group is special to me. They did an excellent job all season.”

Friday night’s start was a disaster for the Tarpons. Karr beat South Lafourche out of the gates with ease in the first quarter, using swarming defense and red-hot shooting to soar to a huge lead.

Junior guard John Maxmillion’s shot looked like a million bucks in the first half. The Cougar standout stroked four-straight 3-pointers to keep Karr’s offense rolling in the early minutes.

When Maxmillion wasn’t scoring, it was Tyree Thompson, Diamante Woolridge or Bowie Marc making things happen for the Cougars, who led 22-6 after the first quarter and then 36-17 at halftime.

But in the second half, South Lafourche started to find a few things that worked.

After falling behind by 24 in the third quarter, the Tarpons made a late third-quarter and early fourth-quarter surge, which cut the Karr lead to 11 with more than four minutes to play.

But the Cougars made free throws down the stretch, which slammed the door on the Tarpons upset bid, despite a big-time effort.

Senior Trevor Rebstock led the Tarpons with 14 points. Thomas Rousse added 10. The game is the final in the careers of Rebstock, Rousse, Nikali Lombas, Shak Dillon and Brandon Whitney – the team’s five-member senior class.

Callais said those guys will be missed in the Tarpons’ locker room.

“They did things the right way – all of them,” Callais said. “I know they will all go on from here and be successful in life. They’re all great kids.”