Pios, Bulldogs have strong showing at Ragin Cajun team camp

LAFAYETTE – The Notre Dame Pioneers’ basketball program hasn’t seen many bright spots over the last few years.

Coach Donald Adams’ squad went through a rebuilding season in 2012-13 and struggled through a rough slate to finish with just three victories.

But if Notre Dame’s summer league play is any indication of what is to come, the future appears promising for the Pios.

Notre Dame went 12-10 over the summer in team camps at LSU, Teurlings and North Vermilion and the Pios wrapped up their summer slate this past weekend by going 4-1 at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

“This summer has been great for us,” said Adams, who returns four starters from last year’s squad and 14 of 15 varsity players. “We showed a lot of improvement considering where we finished up last season. Offensively, we’re scoring a lot more and we’ve improved tremendously on defense.

“This is a big boost for our guys. We haven’t won 12 games since probably 2010 so that really fired our guys up.”

The Pios’ success this past weekend was due largely to newcomer Ethan Smith and veteran Tre Milstead. Smith scored 12 points in all five of the Pios’ games while Milstead hit double figures in each as well, scoring a game-high 15 points in Notre Dame’s 42-30 victory over Sacred Heart of Ville Platte.

Notre Dame defeated Ascension Episcopal 42-31 Friday morning in their camp opener and followed that up with a 52-25 victory over Wesminster after lunch. The Pios closed out the afternoon two hours later with their victory over Sacred Heart.

On Saturday, the Pios picked up a 54-24 victory over Episcopal School of Acadiana (ESA) but bowed out of the tournament later with a 52-48 loss to Jeanerette.

“We had a chance to beat Jeanerette, but we had played four games already so we were a little tired,” said Adams, who was without the services of Milstead in the loss due to an ankle injury. “But when we walked out of the gym, we were satisfied. We played well and the kids really did a good job.”

Iota falls short in finals

The Iota Bulldogs also participated in the team camp at Louisiana Lafayette and made an impressive showing by reaching the tournament finals.

The Bulldogs, who lost five straight games to Class 5A schools last week at Tulane, went 8-3 on the weekend and lost in the finals to French Settlement.

“We played real well this weekend,” said Iota coach Stacy Bertrand. “We were a lot more patient, we worked together as a team and we ran the offense well. We controlled the games and when we were able to do that, we won.”

Iota defeated Episcopal School of Acadiana (ESA) and Basile on Friday but the Bulldogs dropped a pair of contests to Jeanerette and Bell City.

The following day, the Bulldogs won five straight games to reach the championship game.

First, the Bulldogs beat Westminster to start the day and then they reeled off victories over Catholic of New Iberia, Catholic of Point Coupee and Basile. The Bulldogs jayvee squad then beat Sacred Heart’s varsity team and the Bulldogs followed that by knocking off Westminster again to reach the title game.

Iota’s biggest victory of the weekend was a 48-31 thumping of a very athletic Catholic Point Coupee Saturday.

“They were probably a better team than us,” said Bertrand of Catholic. “But, heck, we controlled the whole game and we dictated what happened. We pressed them, we got after them, we did all kind of stuff.

“We executed most of the stuff they way we were supposed to and we came out with a victory.”

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