Gents, Lady Pios advance in winner's bracket
MIDLAND – The Crowley Gents and the Notre Dame Lady Pios assured themselves spots in the final day of the Midland Holiday Spectacular by picking up victories Monday in the tournament’s second day of action.
The Gents avenged last year’s first-round loss to Acadiana by topping the Wrecking Rams, 56-51, while the Lady Pios cruised to a 54-36 victory over tournament host Midland.
The Gents take on either Notre Dame or Holden this afternoon at 5 o’clock in a semifinal contest. The winner advances to Thursday’s finals at 7 while the loser plays at 3 in the consolation finals.
The Lady Pios will be in action again Thursday in the girls’ finals against the winner of today’s Kinder-Lake Arthur game. The title game is slated for 5 p.m.
In Crowley’s game Monday, the Gents survived an early 3-point barrage as the Rams connected on three long balls in the first quarter.
The Gents settled in and took a 12-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter behind eight points from senior forward Jerrell Andrus.
The Gents picked up the pace defensively in the second quarter, limiting the Rams to just four points while jumping out to a 24-15 advantage at the break.
“We fought hard and I saw the fight in our guys today,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone, whose team improved to 7-6 with the victory. “We gave up a few threes to start the game, but our guys really stepped up after that.”
Andrus, who led all scorers with 20 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds, was held scoreless in the third quarter.
However, junior forward Kaleb Cormier picked up the slack by scoring all eight of his points in the third frame to help the Gents build a 43-31 advantage.
“Kaleb really played well today, especially in the third quarter,” said Boone. “And that’s what we needed. When we came out of football, we were basically a two-quarter team. The second half, we were gone. Then we matured to a third quarter team and now we’re almost a three-and-a-half quarter team. We’re not quite a four quarter team but we’ll get to it.”
The fourth quarter was rough on the Gents again. Acadiana cut the lead to three (54-51) with under a minute to go before Damon Malbrough’s two free throws with 11 seconds remaining sealed the victory.
The Gents went just 16-for-26 from the free throw line on the day but hit 7-of-11 freebies in the final three minutes.
“Free throws are still are Achilles right now, but we did shoot better at the end,” said Boone. “We missed the front end of a lot of one-and -ones when we could have extended the lead. We have to improve on that.”
Dylan Montgomery, Danny Malbrough and Andre Mills each pitched in six points in the victory, Damon Malbrough and Tuskani Figaro each added four and Dorris Senegal had two.
Acadiana was led by Landyn Waldrop and Alex Miller with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
In girls’ action, Notre Dame took a slim 35-28 lead over Midland at the end of the third quarter before going on a 19-8 run in the final frame to seal the victory.
The Lady Pios improved to 16-2 with the victory while Midland fell to 4-15.
Midland kept it close in the first half, trailing just 8-7 after the first quarter and 20-15 at the break.
“Midland knocked down some open looks so hats off to them,” said ND coach Nolan Theriot, whose squad missed countless layups and went just 2-of-11 from the free throw line in the first half. “But they still only scored 15 points, so, defensively, we felt like we were doing what we needed to do.”
The Lady Rebels stayed within striking distance in the third quarter and trailed 35-28 heading into the final stanza.
However, Notre Dame went on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter and never looked back from there.
“It just took us a little while to settle in,” said Theriot. “Once we started running the offense, we got wide open looks.
Notre Dame was also able to overcome their woes from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes, knocking down seven of their final nine free throw attempts.
“We have not been making free throws in the fourth quarter,” said Theriot, whose squad went 10-for-25 from the line on the night. “We haven’t been making clutch free throws. But tonight, in the fourth quarter, we stepped up and that was huge.”
Taylor Simon, who hit all five of her free throw attempts in the final quarter, led the Lady Pios with 14 points. Marie Ledet and Kylie Pannell also hit double figures with 10 points each.
Lexie Trosclair followed with nine points, Alex Miller added six and Mary Charles scored two. Sam Lyons and Mallory Chiasson each finished with one.
Midland was led by Hannah Fremaux, Haley Guidry, and Katie Woods with nine points each. Morgan Clement added seven points and Melody Hebert scored two.
In other local action, the Rayne Lady Wolves avoided elimination with a 55-29 victory over Gueydan.
Brandi Gibson poured in 15 points for the Lady Wolves while Tioni Woods scored 16 for Gueydan.