Gents thump Westlake in league opener

By Christopher Quebedeaux

SPORTS EDITOR

WESTLAKE – The Crowley Gents took their first step toward a District 4-AAA title Friday,

The Gents, getting points from 12 different players, jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a surprisingly easy 67-26 victory over Westlake in the league opener for both teams.

With the victory, the Gents improved to 12-6 overall and 1-0 on league play. Westlake fell to 7-13 and 0-1.

“Just getting that first win is big because it’s district time,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone following the victory. “Every win from here on out is important and that’s what I try to emphasize that to my guys. We have to take it one game at a time and tonight was that first step.”

From the start it was easy to see that Westlake was outmanned.

A thunderous dunk by CHS forward Jerrell Andrus started things and a Michael Harmon jumper in the paint and a Therion Beverly 3-pointer gave the Gents a quick 7-0 lead.

The Gents rallied for 11 more points in the opening frame to take an 18-5 lead after the first quarter. They went on to outscore the Rams 16-10 in the second quarter to take a commanding 34-15 halftime advantage.

“We had a lot of turnovers but they (Crowley) had a lot to do with that,” said Westlake coach Doug Morris following the game. “They are big, athletic and they can run. I think they are going to have a good shot at being at the top in the district. They’re a good basketball team.”

Crowley kept up the defensive pressure in the third quarter, forcing the Rams into countless turnovers while going on a 15-7 run to extend the lead to 49-22.

“If someone’s down, you’ve got to keep them down,” said Boone. “Nothing personal but district is all business. We didn’t want to sit on these guys and let them back into the game.”

Andrus’ second highlight reel dunk of the night capped a 10-0 Crowley run to start the fourth quarter and also prompted Boone to call a quick timeout to get his reserves in the game. The younger Gents hit the court and outscored the Rams 6-4 over the final four minutes.

“We played well tonight but there are still some things that we can improve on,” said Boone. “We gave up a few easy baskets and we kind of took a break here and there. We have to play a full eight minutes each quarter. Luckily, they didn’t really capitalize on our mistakes.”

Crowley spread the ball. Andrus led the way with 14 points while Michael Harmon and Therion Beverly also scored in double digits with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Tuskani Figaro followed with six points; Damon Malbrough, five; D’Myrus Daniels, four; Thedrick Mouton, Donavon Morris and Donovan Montgomery, three each and Kaleb Cormier and Diquan Bennett, two each.

Zak Cahee led Westlake with 12 points. Dylan Abbott and Christian Weber each scored five points in the loss and Jesse Bruce had four.

In the girls’ game, the Crowley Ladies fell on hard times again, committing 26 turnovers in a 51-44 loss to the Lady Rams.

The Ladies (5-12, 0-3) turned the ball over 14 times in the first half alone, enabling Westlake to jump out to a 25-14 halftime advantage.

Crowley’s defense picked up the pace early in the second half, forcing nine turnovers of their own to cut the lead to 31-30 with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter.

However, the Lady Rams went on an 8-2 run to end the frame, taking a 39-32 advantage into the final stanza.

Crowley cut the lead to six (47-41) with just over two minutes remaining but had four more turnovers in the final minutes to seal their fate.

Mercedes Rogers paced the Ladies with a double-double, pulling down 11 rebounds to go with her 14 points. Isis Broussard followed with 11 points.

Also contributing were Karen Citizen with nine points, Vivian Barker with six and Tiara Dugar with three.

Emily Dickenson led Westlake with 16 points while Kylie Goodeaux and Chelsea Evans each had eight.

The Crowley Ladies and Gents will be in action again Tuesday when they play host to Eunice in another district doubleheader. The girls game will tip off a 6:30 p.m. with the boys game to follow.

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