Crowley Gents slip past Eunice in District 4-3A finale
CROWLEY – It wasn’t their best performance of the season by any means, but, in the end, it was enough.
The Crowley Gents struggled for nearly four quarters Wednesday night, but recovered in time to slip away with a 42-39 victory over the Eunice Bobcats.
The victory capped a perfect district season for the Gents, who won the league title for the second straight year with a 10-0 record.
“The good thing was that we came away with the victory,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone, whose squad finished the regular season with a mark of 21-7. “But we probably played one of our worst games of the season as far as our execution and our hustle. We didn’t really play well in any phase of the game.”
Crowley’s offensive production was limited from the beginning as turnovers and missed opportunities in transition allowed Eunice to keep it close.
The Gents, who averaged 66 points per outing in league play, were held to just 21 points in the first half and they clung to a one-point advantage (21-20) heading into the intermission.
“We basically got outhustled early in the game and we had a lot of turnovers and missed layups,” said Boone of the Gents’ early struggles. “When we weren’t turning the ball over, we were missing layups. We couldn’t get anything right. Jump shots weren’t falling and we weren’t shooting free throws well. You put that all together and we are lucky we were ahead at halftime.”
Crowley’s woes continued in the second half as they were held to just eight points in the third quarter. However, Eunice also scored just eight points and trailed 29-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter. Crowley took a three-point advantage late in the game on a steal by Dorris Senegal, who hit Damon Malbrough on an outlet pass for a layup. Eunice followed with a basket and a free throw to tie the game.
Tuskani Figaro helped seal the victory by going 4-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds.
“They (Eunice) answered every time we would go up,” said Boone. “Those free throws really saved us at the end.”
Figaro and Malbrough paced the Gents with 16 and 10 points, respectively. Dylan Montgomery followed with six points and Jessie Harmon scored four. Andre Mills, Jerrell Andrus and Senegal each added two points.
The Gents, who are currently ranked No. 7 in the LHSAA unofficial power rankings, will find out their postseason fate Monday when the playoff brackets are released.
“When you play as bad as we did and get a win, that’s a positive,” said Boone. “But we know we won’t face anymore subpar teams. We didn’t take this game to get better and that’s the negative.
“We just have to regroup, re-energize and get ready for the playoffs. From here on out, there’s no margin for error.”