Gents fall to 5A Vikings

CROWLEY – The struggle continued for the Crowley Gents Monday evening when they hosted Class 5A perennial power Northside of Lafayette.

The Vikings, a traditional powerhouse in prep basketball, broke open a tight game in the second quarter by going on a 19-6 run before pulling away for a 65-36 victory over the homestanding Gents.

The loss dropped the Gents to 4-7 on the season heading into today’s road contest at Beaux Chene.

The Vikings improved to 10-1 with the victory.

“You know, they (Northside) are a four-quarter team and right now, we’re not,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone following the contest. “We hung with them for the first quarter pretty much, stuck to our game plan and then all of the sudden we let up and started committing turnover after turnover.”

The Gents went toe-to-toe with the Vikings early on, tying the game three times before the visitors went on a 9-2 run in the final four minutes of the first stanza to take a 19-12 advantage.

Northside took over from there, taking a 38-18 advantage at the break before the reserves hit the court for most of the second half. The Vikings’ backups even provided a stiff challenge as they went on to outscore the Gents 27-18 despite stalling the ball for the final five minutes of the contest.

“We had a lot of mental mistakes tonight,” said Boone. “And Northside, they hustle from start to finish. Even their backups get in there and get after it.”

Tuskani Figaro paced the Gents in the loss with eight points. He was followed by Jerrell Andrus with six and Davante Bourque with five.

Kaleb Cormier, Damon Malbrough and Dylan Montgomery each chipped in four points, Andre Mills added three and Danny Malbrough rounded out the Gents’ scoring with two.

Eric Murray, Justin Tolivour and Nick Syrie each scored 12 points for the Vikings.

Despite the loss, Boone remains positive. His squad has a losing record, but all seven of his losses have been to top-ranked opponents (Northside, Washington Marion, St. Martinville, Lafayette, North Central, Abbeville and Rayne).

“We’re getting better,” said Boone. “We have some losses but their all against quality teams. We have had a tough non-district schedule but I want us to play competition because I’m looking ahead to district play and the playoffs. We’re going to face teams like this in the playoffs.

“I could have a schedule where I’m beating up teams that are not as competitive, but that’s not getting my guys better and that’s my goal, to get them better as a team.”

Crowley, which returned just one starter from last year’s district championship team, will attempt to get back on track today when they travel to Arnaudville to take Beau Chene. The jayvee squads will take the court at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.

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