Terriers sprint past Central Catholic, 55-44


MORGAN CITY — With the ball in his hands, Central Catholic's Dontrell Brown had a chance to give the Eagles their first lead of the game during the third quarter of Tuesday's nondistrict showdown against Vandebilt Catholic.

With the game tied at 32, Brown knocked the ball loose from a Terriers player, got a steal and streaked down the court for what looked like an easy scoring opportunity.

But he missed the one-handed dunk.

Central Catholic missed out on the chance to take the lead, and Vandebilt made it pay.

Lionheart Leslie scored eight of his game-high 28 points during a crucial fourth-quarter stretch to help Vandebilt take a 54-44 win over Central Catholic.

After Brown missed his scoring opportunity, Leslie used a three-point play to give the Terriers a 35-32 lead at the end of the third quarter.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Leslie scored three consecutive baskets to put the Terriers ahead 41-32.

Vandebilt outscored Central Catholic 19-12 in the fourth quarter to get the win.

The victory was a big one for the Terriers (18-6 overall; ranked 16th in Class 4A state power ratings). Central Catholic (15-4) entered Tuesday's game as the top-ranked team in the latest Class 1A state power rankings and Louisiana Sports Writers Association polls.

"It's going to help with power points," Vandebilt coach Henry Washington said. "It's going to give them confidence and keep them motivated right now. Their confidence is sky high. It's a big win."

Payton Barrios scored nine points for Vandebilt, and Elijah McGuire added eight points.

Washington said he was pleased with the Terriers defense against the Eagles.

"We are getting some good movement," Washington said. "We're starting to play good defense as a whole group. Everybody that stepped on the floor, they are ready to play defense. That's important for us."

Central Catholic got 18 points from Josh Singleton and 14 points from Brown.

The Eagles got off to a slow start, trailing 16-4 at the end of the first quarter, but they started hitting their shots in the second quarter to cut Vandebilt's lead to 25-18 at halftime.

A 3-pointer from Singleton tied the score at 32 with 2:37 left in the third quarter. Brown missed the dunk soon after, and Vandebilt took control for good.

"I thought we did a great job of battling back," Central Catholic coach Ree Case said. "The game was tied. We get a break away and miss a dunk. It was a chance for us to get a lead, and we just didn't take advantage of it."

Leslie said the Eagles' missed opportunity was the turning point of the game.

"That changed the momentum," Leslie said. "It was a bad play for them. That turned the whole game around, and we came back and started moving the ball around well like we did in the first quarter."

Leslie said Tuesday's win not only extended the Terriers' winning streak to eight games, but it also showed they could go on the road and win big games against tough competition.

"We can play on the road against good teams," Leslie said. "We've just got to stay focused on our goals, believe in each other, keep pushing and get the victory."

VANDEBILT CATHOLIC 41, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 36 (GIRLS)

At Morgan City, the Lady Terriers missed easy shots and turned the ball over often, but they survived a close contest late to improve their record to 22-4 overall.

Vandebilt led 16-13 at the end of the first quarter, 20-17 at halftime and 31-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Central Catholic (13-7) cut the score to 33-30 with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter, but Vandebilt hit several key free throws in the final minutes to protect the lead.

Shakira Harding led Vandebilt with 17 points, and Cassidy Barrios had nine points.

The Lady Eagles got 16 points from Meo Knight and 14 points from Randi Brown.

Although they picked up a big road win against one of the top girls teams in Class 1A, Vandebilt coach Kathy Luke said the Lady Terriers have room for improvement.

"I thought they had a really good game plan," Luke said. "I thought they played well. Meo and Randi are extremely good ball players. I didn't think we were sharp offensively or defensively. We're just not where we need to be at this point of the year. I'm proud of our kids. We held on. We won against a really good team, but we definitely got to play better."

Luke said the Lady Terriers suffered a setback when senior starting forward Jasmine Howard dislocated her shoulder during the game. Luke said Howard could miss the next 2-3 weeks from the injury.

"We hope she'll be back for the playoffs," Luke said. "We're just hoping for the best."

ELLENDER 55, MORGAN CITY 53 (BOYS)

At Morgan City, the Patriots improved to 13-10 overall and 4-2 in District 8-4A.

Ellender got 18 points from Cameron Parfait, 15 points from Eric Welch and 10 points from Justin Johnson.

Morgan City led 14-13 after the first quarter, Ellender led 30-28 at halftime and Morgan City led 45-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

ELLENDER 79, MORGAN CITY 24 (GIRLS)

At Morgan City, the Lady Patriots improved to 15-5 overall and 5-1 in District 8-4A.

Ellender led 34-9 at halftime and got 15 points each from Kiara Scott and Sky Jasper, 13 points from Amari Banks and 12 points from Shakira Bingham.

ASSUMPTION 69, SOUTH TERREBONNE 38 (GIRLS)

At Napoleonville, Amanda Gianelloni scored 17 points and Tiah Larvadain added 16 as the Lady Mustangs improved to 13-10 overall and 3-3 in District 8-4A.

Assumption led 19-9 after the first quarter, 36-20 at halftime and 54-26 at the end of the third quarter. South Terrebonne fell to 3-13 overall and 0-6 in district.

SOCCER

VANDEBILT CATHOLIC 4, COUNTRY DAY 0 (BOYS)

At Houma, the Terriers improved to 12-8-2 overall with a nondistrict victory over the defending Division III champion at Buddy Marcello Stadium.

The Terriers led 3-0 at halftime and got two goals from Adam Farrar and a goal each from Austin Benton and Mitch Gautreaux.

Patrick Watson got the victory in goal for the Terriers.

— Compiled by sports writer Kelly McElroy.