Gents surge past Northwest
PRAIRIE RHONDE – Heading into Tuesday’s District 4-AAA showdown at Northwest, Crowley High coach Derrick Boone just wanted to keep the game close heading into the fourth quarter.
His Gents executed his game plan to perfection by taking a slim 35-34 advantage into the final stanza.
Then came the pressure.
Boone unleashed the dogs in the final eight minutes, going to a full-court pressure defense that resulted in eight Northwest turnovers and led to a 48-36 victory for the Gents.
Crowley improved to 18-7 on the season and 7-0 in league play with the victory.
“We knew if we could keep it close, we would be alright,” said Boone, whose squad limited Northwest to just two points in the fourth quarter. “ The fourth quarter is the quarter that determines most games, especially when you are evenly matched like we are.
“In our big games, we have been able to limit our opponents in the fourth quarter and that’s what champions do. If we can continue to do that, the sky’s the limit for these guys.”
Northwest hit a shot just seconds into the fourth quarter to take a 36-35 advantage but Crowley’s Tuskani Figaro answered with a 3-pointer at the 6:19 mark to give Crowley the lead for good.
From there, it was all defense for the Gents, who logged four steals and frustrated the Raiders over the final six minutes.
“We knew from the beginning that Northwest had trouble handling pressure,” said Boone. “But you never know how the officiating is going to go and I didn’t want to put my guys in a bind from start to finish so I had to pick and choose the points where we were going to press.
“Towards the end, we had them on the ropes and I knew that’s when we had to pressure them.”
Damon Malbrough added six points down the stretch, all in transition, while Jerrell Andrus hit a runner in the lane and Davante Bourque and Danny Malbrough each hit one free throw.
Andrus paced the Gents with 16 points and Damon Malbrough followed with 14. Figaro added eight points; Davante Bourque scored five; Danny Malbrough had three and Andre Mills scored two.
“This was a real good win for us,” said Boone. “To get one on the road in a game that we had to come from behind a few times was big. We made our share of mistakes but we were also able to capitalize on their mistakes.
“The hustle stayed there and we got smarter as the game went on. Even though we have a young squad, I saw the maturity of our guys. Our leaders stepped up and our bench stepped up also.”
The Crowley Ladies weren’t as fortunate in the opener.
The Ladies committed 36 turnovers in a 65-38 loss to Northwest.
Crowley trailed just 12-10 after the first quarter, but the Ladies managed just nine points in the following two frames and trailed 43-19 heading into the final stanza.
Northwest went on to outscore Crowley 22-19 in the final eight minutes.
Mercedes Rogers and Kara Wilridge led the Ladies with 14 and eight points, respectively. Sara Woodard followed with seven points and Beverly Broussard scored four. Vivian Barker and Bianca Anderson each pitched in two points and Arlissa Byers scored one.
The Ladies will be in action again tonight when they play host to Eunice at 6 o’clock.
The Gents return to action Friday when they entertain Iowa at 5:30 p.m. They will then travel to Church Point Tuesday before rounding out the regular season at home on Wednesday when they play host to Eunice.