Play rises in summer finale
Fri. June 29, 2012 at 9:43 a.m. | By Keyon Jeff/Sports Correspondent
Terrebonne's Ezell Gardner grabs a loose ball from H.L. Bourgeois's Chris Harris and Terrebonne's Kavaughn Wesley on Wednesday. (Photo by Keyon Jeff/Correspondent)
On the final night of the E.D. White Catholic Summer Basketball League on Thursday, the players picked up their intensity.
According to the coaches involved, it was the best they had seen their respective teams play during the three weeks of scrimmages.
In the first game Central Catholic led wire-to-wire for a 54-40 win over E.D. White.
H.L. Bourgeois and Terrebonne closed league action in Thursday’s second game with the Braves taking a 45-37 victory.
H.L. BOURGEOIS 45, TERREBONNE 37
Terrebonne jumped out to an early 7-2 lead behind a Tony Perrier’s 3-pointer. H.L. Bourgeois fought back with a 10-2 run, capped by consecutive layups by D’Aaron Davis, to take a lead they would never relinquish.
“I think we played very hard in spurts. I think we showed that we can be a really good defensive team when we want to be,” Braves coach Andrew Caillouet said. “Hopefully, we want to be often. We have some older guys who really stepped up defensively.”
A 3-pointer by Isaiah Van Buren gave the Braves a 22-14 advantage into halftime. Bourgeois began the second half on an 11-3 tear to get their biggest lead of the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Devonte Dickerson (14 points) gave the Braves a 33-17 advantage.
Behind Kavaughn Wesley (10 points) and Justin Theriot (nine points), Terrebonne applied more defensive pressure to get back into the game. They converted three consecutive turnovers into points cut the deficit in half.
“We got better, especially over the last week. Everybody else may not see it, but we see it,” Tigers coach Derek Szush said. “They all got better in some way, shape or form. Our win-loss record wasn’t the greatest, but I’m proud of the way we played this summer.”
H.L. Bourgeois had one more burst in them, capped by a slam dunk by Teren Morris to seal the Braves win.
“It was an important summer for him because he’s going into his senior year, but he never got the big-time minutes yet,” Caillouet said. “I thought he really flourished, getting big-time minutes and shooting the ball well.”
The end of the summer league does not mean the end of improving. Mandatory practices gives way to voluntary practices, and players will be active in the weight room.
After three weeks of summer league basketball, the coaches have gained new insight on their young developing teams. Hopefully, the lessons learned will translate into victories during the 2012-2013 season.
“It was rocky in the beginning, even up to a week and a half ago. That’s when we really started to play well together, and the attitudes went away,” Szush said. “We still didn’t come out with a lot of victories, but you could tell we played better. It made an impression on us coaches. So in the regular season, we’ll know what we’ll have.”
“The thing I like about this team is the chemistry that they have. Nobody cares who scores; they just play hard,” Caillouet said. “So in October, I’m hoping we’ve committed to continue playing defense. The only team that can beat us is us. If we continue to play the way we been playing and grow from this point, I think we have a chance to be special.”
CENTRAL CATHOLIC-MORGAN CITY 54, E.D. WHITE 40
At Thibodaux, Central Catholic-MC got balanced scoring efforts from Tyler Hoffpauir (11 points) and Garrett LeBlanc and Josh Singleton (10 points each) and Nick Case (nine points).
The Eagles soared to a 10-2 to start before the Cardinals finally started hitting shots later in the first half. Central Catholic finished the stanza by scoring 11 straight points to take a 32-15 advantage into halftime.
Despite 11 points each from Ross Sonnier and Thomas Clement, E.D. White trailed by as much as 23 points in the second half. Still the Cardinals played hard to the end, finishing the game on a 12-3 streak.
“We gained experience. That’s exactly what we needed,” Cardinals coach Jonathan Keife said. “I think every person on our team, played lease 250 minutes. That’s certainly going to help us what we get to the fall.”
While he would have like his squad to have played better, Keife said E.D. White grew up as a team this summer. He hopes they spend the next several months working on their individual game.
“We were a much different team in the last week from a maturity standpoint. We learned a lot in terms of what we need to do to be successful,” Keife said. “I hope everybody improves on their weaknesses. It’s up to players now to get better now until basketball season starts.”