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Assumption pulls away for win over Terrebonne

NAPOLEONVILLE — The 2012-13 boys basketball season has been a struggle for Assumption.

But Thursday night against Terrebonne, the Mustangs led nearly wire-to-wire and pulled away from the Tigers in the fourth quarter for a 52-38 nondistrict victory.

"This is one of the best games we played all year. We played 32 minutes of basketball," Mustangs coach Roland Moore Jr. said. "We needed this win. It was especially good for our young guys."

While neither team shot well from the onset, Assumption (3-17 overall) scored six straight points after allowing a Tigers 3-pointer.

Terrebonne (10-13 overall) held its last lead midway through the first quarter at 7-6 on a pair of Venjie Wallis (10 points) free throws. The Tigers missed a slew of shots at the rim, and Assumption pounced on their shortcomings.

The Mustangs scored eight consecutive points from the end of the first through the middle of the second quarter, capped by back-to-back buckets by Joshua Brown, to double up Terrebonne 18-9.

"We didn't play much defense. That's unacceptable. That's just bad basketball," Tigers coach Derek Szush said. "Buckets we usually make, those 5-, 6-, 7-footers, didn't fall. Those are our spots. We don't shoot from the perimeter well, and we don't have a huge post presence."

Still, Terrebonne rallied with a 9-2 run from the middle of the second quarter into the start of the third quarter to trim its deficit to 20-18.

But every time the Tigers got within a bucket of tying or taking the lead, Assumption answered, especially Kenyetta Charles. He scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers that kept the Mustangs ahead.

"I've been telling him to just focus on getting a good release and keep your eye on the target," Moore said of Charles' shooting. "They started falling in the second half."

Despite that effort, Terrebonne pulled within a basket, at 34-32 with 5 minutes remaining. Charles responded by nailing a floater in the lane. On the next possession Malik Mills (12 points) grabbed a put back for a basket and the foul that put Assumption up 39-32. The Mustangs sealed the game at the free-throw line going 10-of-15 in the fourth quarter.

"We made some dumb decisions on offense. We took a couple bad shots at critical points in the game didn't go down," Szush said. "We just couldn't get a little run going — tough game."

Moore said he hopes the win provide a spark for his young Mustangs as they enter the backstretch of their season.

"Hopefully, this just gives us some confidence going to our next game," Moore said.

For Szush, he is looking for history to repeat itself.

"Last year the exact same thing happened," Szush said. "Going to the second half of district I told kids, ‘To get in the playoffs you have to win them all.' And we wound up winning them all and getting into the playoffs because we won our last six games. Hopefully, this springboards us. I won't let it crumble us."