Crowley cruises past Notre Dame
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – The emphasis for Crowley Gents this year has been the play of their post players.
That’s because when the inside game is clicking, the Gents are tough to beat.
Case in point: Tuesday’s District 5-AAA clash between the Gents and cross-town rival Notre Dame.
Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the Gents were at their best in the paint in the two teams’ second meeting of league play and the result was a resounding 75-47 CHS victory.
Crowley forwards Jerrell Andrus and Michael Harmon keyed the victory, combining for 33 points as the Gents improved to 18-9 overall and, more importantly, 4-2 in league play. The Pios fell to 10-16 overall and 2-4.
“They (Crowley) beat us inside, they beat us on the boards and they won the ballgame,” said Notre Dame coach Mark Jones following the game. “We knew coming in that we had to win the game inside which we did not do and they beat us to death on it.”
Harmon and Andrus played a huge role in the Gents’ victory, combining for 18 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone. Their dominating performance inside opened up the floor for off-guard Dexter Scott, who poured in 10 of his 17 points in the first 16 minutes to help the Gents build a 34-20 lead at the break.
“We knew their (Notre Dame) strengths and we knew our strengths. All week we emphasized on inside-out,” said Gents coach Derrick Boone following the victory. “Once we got our big guys going and got those guys active, our exterior guys got in the grove of the game pretty quick.”
The Gents, who have struggled in the second half recently, opened the game up in the third quarter. The Gents poured in 15 points and limited the Pios to just seven to take a 49-27 cushion heading into the final stanza.
“In the back of our minds, we were thinking about the third quarter we played against Church Point,” said Boone, whose squad was outscored 19-8 in the third frame against the Bears last Friday. “We knew we had to have a good third quarter tonight. We had a little lead, but we needed to take control of the game at that point and I think we did that.”
Andrus took over in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of is game-high 23 points in the final eight minutes.
The Gents actually led by as many as 32 (66-34) midway through the fourth before the reserves hit the court. At that point, Notre Dame outscored the Gents 13-9 to end the game.
Andrus finished with a double-double, grabbing 16 rebounds to go along with his 23 points.
“Jerrell has a nose for the ball,” said Boone. “He’s a raw talent and he plays smart. All of his shots are basically layups because of his awareness of what’s going on and his ability to get to the goal.”
Scott followed with 17 points and Tevin Barker and Harmon each pitched in 10 points. Therion Beverly added six points, Darius Harrison four, Donavon Morris three and D’Myrus Daniels two.
Nick Zaunbrecher paced the Pios with 21 points.
“Nick had a great game, but we didn’t play a good game as a team,” said Jones. “One man can’t carry the whole team. We didn’t do a good job on the inside. They didn’t even attempt to look outside. They took everything to the inside and we let them do it. We didn’t do anything to stop it. If they did miss, we didn’t do anything to get a second or third rebound and you can’t beat good teams like that.”
Charlie Ropp, Morgan Allen and Taylor Thibodeaux each scored six points in the losing effort. John Nickel contributed four points while Will Faulk and John Graf each scored two.
Crowley returns to district action Friday when the Gents travel to Prairie Rhonde to take on league-leading Northwest.
The Pios will also be in action Friday when they play host to Church Point.