Crowley Gents slip past Northwest

CROWLEY – Even when the Crowley Gents aren’t firing on all cylinders, they are still tough to beat.

The Northwest Raiders found that out the hard way Friday evening in a key District 4-AAA matchup at the Gents’ home gym.

Northwest led for most of the game before the Gents (14-7, 3-0) rallied late to claim a 41-37 victory.

“A win is a win I guess,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone following the contest. “When you have games like this, where you don’t play well at all and you win, that’s a positive. It’s a win. We’ll learn from it and move on to the next one.”

The Gents, normally an up tempo style team, elected to slow the pace of the game by dropping back in a 2-3 zone for most of the contest.

“I saw the way the game was going and I wanted to slow it down,” said Boone. “A couple of mistakes in a row and the game could have gotten out of hand. We felt that if we were able to keep it close, we would be able to pull it out at the end.”

Boone’s squad did keep it close despite struggling early on. The Gents trailed by as many as four in the first quarter before Tuskani Figaro drained a 3-pointer at the end of the frame to cut the Raiders advantage to 10-9.

Crowley remained within striking distance, trailing just 23-22 heading into the break despite a poor shooting performance and the fact that they lost the battle of the boards in the first half.

“We didn’t play well at all,” said Boone. “We didn’t do the fundamentals right tonight. All the stuff we preach; blocking out, protecting the ball and limiting second shots. If you don’t do those things, you’re going to have games like this.”

Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter before Figaro stroked another 3-pointer with under a minute to go to give the Gents a 31-29 lead heading into the fourth and final frame.

Crowley stuck first in the fourth quarter when Davante Bourque drove the lane for a layup and was fouled. He connected on the free throw to extend the Gents lead to 34-29.

However, that lead extension occurred with just four minutes remaining in the game.

“In the fourth, it was like each team was waiting for the other to make a mistake,” said Boone of the lack of offense early in the fourth quarter. “We didn’t play as aggressive because no one wanted to make that first mistake. We slowed it down a little bit. We weren’t necessarily stalling but we wanted to make sure we got off a good shot.”

Northwest rallied for six straight points following Bourque’s basket and took a 35-34 lead with 3:11 left.

The Gents regained the lead on two free throws from Dylan Montgomery. Figaro then picked up a steal at half court, converted a layup and was fouled with just over two minutes left in the game. His free throw put Crowley up 39-35.

Figaro, who led the Gents with 10 points on the night, and Andre Mills each hit one free throw down the stretch to seal the victory.

Jerrell Andrus, Damon Malbrough and Bourque each scored eight points in the victory. Montgomery added four points, Danny Malbrough scored two and Mills finished with one.

Derrell Joubert and Kenderous Rosette paced the Raiders with 11 and 10 points respectively.

“Like I said, we didn’t play well but I’ll take the win,” said Boone. “We can’t focus on the negative, we have to focus on the positive. We’ll learn from this, watch some film and go back to the fundamentals.

“But we’ve got to improve. We can’t go to their place and play like we did tonight.”

The Gents will be in action again Tuesday when they travel to Iowa for another league showdown.

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