Crowley Gents roll past Church Point
CROWLEY – Derrick Boone had a message for his Crowley Gents Friday prior to their District 4-AAA game against winless Church Point - play well or be prepared for the consequences.
“I told them that if I didn’t like what I saw, we were going to practice tonight, Saturday and Sunday and I meant it,” Boone said afterward.
The Gents, defending league champions, got the message loud and clear and responded with one of their best efforts of the season. Led by Jerrel Andrus and Tuskani Figaro, they reeled off a season-high 64 points in the first half and cruised to an impressive 97-25 victory over the visiting Bears.
“This was a good win for us,” said Boone, whose squad improved to 16-7 overall and 5-0 in league play. “A game like this, it could either propel us two steps forward or two steps back.
“Our goal was to come out focused on the task and hand and do what we were supposed to do. We wanted to be sharp and keep our edge and I think we did that tonight.”
Crowley was definitely focused and it showed from the opening tip.
The Gents stormed out to a 7-0 lead with less than a minute gone by in the opening frame and was up 21-2 at the midway mark of the quarter before Boone’s second unit took the court.
“My first five guys, they came out real aggressive,” said Boone.
Crowley’s second unit took over in the final four minutes and outscored the Bears 10-5 to give the Gents a 31-7 advantage.
Crowley’s defense once again took over in the second quarter and limited the Bears to just five points. Church Point (0-19) finally hit double figures on a pair of free throws with 2:48 remaining in the half.
Crowley, however, had scored 28 more points by that time and went on to take a 64-12 lead at the break.
“We came out strong defensively and that’s what I was looking for,” said Boone. “About 98 percent of what we work on in practice is defense. Playing aggressive and playing smart, that’s what we want to do and if we do that, our defense becomes our offense.”
Things didn’t get much better for the Bears in the second half.
Crowley’s defense again forced countless turnovers and the onslaught continued as the Gents went on an 18-5 run to extend their cushion to 83-17 heading into the final stanza.
Crowley slowed the pace a little in the fourth quarter and scored just 15 points in the frame which was played with a running clock the entire quarter.
Andrus and Figaro led the Gents’ offensive explosion with 16 points each. Davante Bourque and Dorris Senegal had 15 and 14 points, respectively; Jesse Harmon pitched in 11 and Andre Mills and Kaleb Cormier each scored 10. Dylan Montgomery and Danny Malbrough rounded out the Gents’ offensive attack with three and two points.
“We got production out of everyone tonight,” said Boone. “And that was our goal all along, to keep my team small (only 10 players on the varsity roster) but keep them all playing aggressively. To get to our main goal, everyone has to produce. We can’t just depend on two or three guys or our first five. In order to get to the level we want to be at, all 10 of our guys have to contribute.”
Church Point was led by Devante Malbrough with 12 points and Kenyon Guillory with five. Kantarise Lazaro, Tyrone Alexander, Chance Roy and Trevor Breaux each scored two in the losing effort.
“I saw a lot of good things tonight, but there are still some things that we have to improve on,” said Boone, whose squad is undefeated heading into the second round of league play. “This was like a mid-term exam. If you fail the final, you fail the class. Over the next half, we’re preparing for that final exam as far as the playoffs and what not.”
In the girls’ game, the Crowley Ladies broke open a tight game in the second half and coasted to a 47-28 victory over the Lady Bears.
The CHS Ladies improved to 16-9 overall and 4-3 in district play with the victory.
Turnovers once again hampered the Ladies, especially early on. Crowley turned the ball over 14 times in the first half and clung to a 20-14 advantage at the break.
“We had 14 turnovers at the half and we only had 20 points,” said CHS coach Alton Allen. “That’s 14 more chances Church Point had and 14 less that we had.
“In the first half, we were sluggish on defense and we weren’t going after the ball. We were waiting on the ball to come to us.”
Crowley picked up the pace in the second half, limited its turnovers and went on to outscore the Lady Bears 15-6 in the third quarter.
“We still made some mistakes in the second half but we did limit our turnovers and that was good,” said Allen. “And we picked up our intensity on defense and got some quick baskets that helped us gain control of the game.”
Crowley outscored Church Point 12-8 in the fourth quarter.
Mercedes Rogers and Kara Wilridge led the Ladies with 22 and 12 points, respectively.
Isis Broussard and Tiara Dugar each added four points, Sara Woodard scored four and Bianca Anderson scored two.
Church Point was led by Shondrika Boast with 13 points and Mary Citizen with five. Shanesha Goodwin and Tequila Richard each added four points and Brittany Lewis scored two.
The Ladies and Gents will be in action again Tuesday when they travel to Westlake for another 4-AAA contest.