The Terrebonne Tigers stifling press defense was too much for South Terrebonne to overcome Monday night in nondistrict action in Houma.
Terrebonne forced the Gators into numerous turnovers and quickly converted them into transition buckets en route to a 63-35 victory.
Keshawn James ignited Terrebonne with 20 points, along with 10 points from Jahki Douglas. Connor Brunet led South Terrebonne with eight points, along with six points from Zentrell Thibodaux.
“I was pleased with the defense. It was the first game we actually understood our rotations,” Tigers coach Henry Washington said. "Keshawn did a good job of penetrating and dishing the ball to our post players. This is the first time I’ve seen him take this many shots.”
“We allowed Terrebonne to dictate the pace and control the game with their press,” Gators coach Caleb White said. “Instead of getting the ball across half court, bring patient and trying to get the best shot possible, we rushed a lot of shots, which led to quick baskets for them.”
The first quarter went back-and-forth. South Terrebonne (4-6 overall) scored six straight points out the gate on jumpers from Brunet, Johnathan Smith and Tyler Smith.
Terrebonne (4-7) answered with a 10-2 run, including a pair of tough three-point plays from James to take the lead. But the Gators ended the quarter with consecutive s layup from Tyler Smith and Davante Miller for a 12-10 lead.
Terrebonne increased their defensive intensity in the second quarter and outscored the Gators 23-7. Douglas and James made back-to-back layups off Gators turnovers at midcourt. Then James converted consecutive layups off turnovers in the backcourt. Later, D’Jon Scott made successive jumpers in the lane from Gators turnovers to give the Tigers a 33-19 halftime lead.
“Jahki, Keshawn, D’Jon, Will (Robinson), they all got their hands on a lot of balls,” Washington said. “The back row was covering the back side. The front and press was covering the middle and putting pressure on the ball.”
“When they were in a half court defense, and we were able to execute our offense. Once they put the press on us, we lost our heads and stopped being patient,” White said. “Defensively, we didn’t communicate well. We got to do a better job of boxing out and getting the rebound.”
South Terrebonne continued to struggle in the second half. During a 12-minute stretch, Terrebonne outscored the Gators 30-6, including 13 straight to end the third quarter and a 13-2 burst to begin the fourth quarter. James scored or assisted on almost every point during the run.
“Keshawn did a good job of penetrating, collapsing the defense and dishing the ball to our post players,” Washington said. “That’s why I kept him in the game at the end because he was actually getting everybody involved.”
With a month before entering the district portion of their schedules, both coaches feel their teams have a lot to improve on.
“We’ve got to get better at communicating and have better chemistry,” White said. “Once we do that, I think we’ll be okay.”
“We still need work on our defense and moving the ball,” Washington said. “We just tried to put in a new set (Monday). We haven’t had practice time because we’ve been playing so much. Basically, we have maybe three plays.”
BOYS BASKETBALL CAPSULES
SOUTH LAFOURCHE 93, BELLE CHASSE 39 (at Galliano, nondistrict game)
Score by quarters: South Lafourche led 28-12 after the first quarter, 52-30 at halftime and 71-33 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: South Lafourche – Matt Belanger (19 points), Austin Cantrelle (14 points), DaMarcus Caine (13 points), Luke Chiasson (10 points).
Records: South Lafourche (6-3 overall); Belle Chasse (2-6 overall)
COVENANT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 52, SPRINGFIELD 38 (at Houma, nondistrict game)
Score by quarters: Covenant Christian led 17-10 after the first quarter, 21-15 at halftime and 37-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Covenant Christian – Anthony Ruffin (14 points), Devante Johnson (10 points) and Dakarai Johnson, Tre’veon Sauceberry and Justin Jackson all scored nine points each.
Records: CCA (5-3 overall); Springfield (5-6 overall)
ST. AUG AT ELLENDER RESCHEDULED
The nondistrict boys basketball game between St. Augustine High of New Orleans and Ellender High was rescheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 8 in Houma.
GIRLS BASKETBALL CAPSULE
SPRINGFIELD 34, COVENANT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 26 (at Houma, nondistrict game)
Statistical leaders: CCA – Breionte Jasper (14 points), Andrea Brown (seven points).
Records: CCA (1-2 overall); Springfield (1-4 overall)
-- Compiled by Chris Singleton/Staff Writer