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Yellow Jackets sting Tarpons


South Lafourche's Seth Cheramie (22) drives to the basket as New Iberia's David Hardin defends. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)


GALLIANO — Damuane Dugas' 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter did more than help New Iberia cut into South Lafourche's lead during Friday's District 7-5A showdown.

It provided a spark that the Yellow Jackets needed to overcome a poor shooting night to beat the Tarpons, 38-31.

South Lafourche, which held leads of 8-5 after the first quarter and 18-11 at halftime, took control of the low-scoring game with a 22-18 lead after a lay-up from Treavon Evans.

Just when the Tarpons (14-10 overall, 5-4 in district) looked to blow the game open, Dugas hit a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer that cut South Lafourche's lead to 22-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Dugas' jumper sparked a 17-9 fourth quarter run that New Iberia (20-7, 7-3 in district) used to escape the Tarpons gym with a victory. New Iberia's Mike Sam scored five of his game-high 12 points in the fourth quarter that also helped the Yellow Jackets' cause.

New Iberia coach Todd Russ said the fourth-quarter run started with Dugas' big shot to end the third.

"That shot really got us going," Russ said. "That was a huge shot. I thought it was a momentum changer. It gave us some confidence to shoot the ball. Being a senior, we called (Dugas) number a couple of times (Friday night), and then Mike Sam closed the game out with some key points. That was big."

In the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets opened with a 5-0 run that made the score 26-22 with 6:56 remaining.

South Lafourche didn't back down without a fight, using layups from Wilbert Rhodes and Seth Cheramie to cut the deficit to 30-27 with 4:22 left.

The Tarpons had a chance to make it a one-point game when Rhodes forced a steal, but they couldn't come away with any points as Evans' fastbreak lay-up rolled in and out of the basket with 1:55 remaining.

Rhodes bounced back with a lay-up that cut the lead to 34-31 with 24 seconds left, but New Iberia hit 4-of-4 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

South Lafourche coach Brian Callais said the Tarpons failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities in the third quarter that could have shifted the game's momentum in their direction.

"We had a chance at the end of the third quarter. We're up four with the ball with 27 seconds left," Callais said. "We miss a shot, and we come down and give them a 3-pointer at the buzzer. From that point on, I think we lost focus. We got out of what we wanted to do. We shouldn't have. We just didn't have quality possessions that we were looking for."

Dillon Mandeville scored 11 points for New Iberia (3-of-9 from 3-point line, 7-of-8 free throws), and Devin Hardin added eight points.

Rhodes led South Lafourche (2-of-8 3-pointers, 1-for-3 free throws) with nine points, and Shawn Cheramie scored eight points.

Russ said South Lafourche deserves credit for slowing down New Iberia's offense.

"Brian (Callais) does a great job. He had a great gameplan," Russ said. "He wanted to make us beat them from the outside. We had some great looks. It just didn't fall. Our offense wasn't going the way we wanted it to, but our defense allowed us to get into a rhythm. I think that was the biggest difference down the stretch."

Callais said New Iberia's size in the paint was a disadvantage for the Tarpons.

"I think the size got to us on the glass," Callais said. "We didn't do what we had to on the boards. We gave them second chance points and a couple of tip-ins. We don't block out on the free-throw. Those things add up and come back to bite you on the butt. It got us."

NEW IBERIA 54, SOUTH LAFOURCHE 33 (GIRLS)

At Galliano, the Lady Yellow Jackets (25-4 overall, 8-0 in district) remained undefeated in District 7-5A play with the win.

New Iberia led 10-4 after the first quarter, 28-16 at halftime and 43-22 at the end of the third quarter.

Kierra Anthony and Moesha Kinard each led New Iberia with 16 points, and Uri Jolivette added 15 points.

Jodi Loupe led South Lafourche (6-12, 4-5 in 7-5A) with 11 points.