Terriers run past Braves

Vandebilt Catholic's Payton Barrios (left) drives past H.L. Bourgeois' Cameron Dark for a layup on Saturday at the H.L. Bourgeois Team Camp in Gray. (Photo by Keyon K. Jeff/Correspondent)

GRAY — Vandebilt Catholic staked an early double-digit lead and never trailed en route to a 42-33 victory over H.L. Bourgeois Saturday afternoon at the Braves Team Camp.

Payton Barrios led the Terriers with 15 points, followed by Malcolm Wolfe with nine, while David Yancey and Bailey Pere had five each. The Braves were led by Takari Gassery with 14 points, while Devonte Dickerson and Tylenn Scott had four each.

Vandebilt won all five games in the two-day event.

"We went to a tournament at LSU two weeks ago and lost four out of five. So the kids have done a remarkable job buying into what we are selling," Terriers coach Michael Toups. "We were a lot better team this weekend than we were all summer."

Vandebilt executed its offensive sets with precision to begin the game. A three-point play by Pere on a put-back layup sparked an 11-0 run. Consecutive short jumpers by Barrios capped the streak with the Terriers up 18-4 with 9:45 left in the first half.

"We stunk. We have to be a team that plays defense with intensity," Braves coach Andrew Caillouet said. "We're not a very good team if we don't play with high-intensity defense. We were just walking around going through the motions."

While the Braves missed plenty of shots near the rim, the defense clamped down and held Vandebilt to a single bucket over a 15-minute stretch.

Back-to-back baskets from Gassery and a three-point play by Cameron Dark brought H.L. Bourgeois to within 20-15 at halftime. A pair of Scott free throws and a Gassery layup to start the second half cut the Braves deficit to 20-19, ending a 15-2 run.

"Our second level kids (Gassery, Scott, Dark, Isaiah Allridge, and DeSean Walker) just played outstanding," Caillouet said. "Those guys just ran out of gas. If we would have just stayed with that group we would have been fine."

Vandebilt would regain its composure on offense. Wolfe drained a corner three-pointer and sank a running layup to push the lead back up to seven points. Later the Terriers scored seven straight to lead 37-25 and never looked back.

"When they started to make a run at us we responded," Toups said. "At the end of the game when we needed to get layups and free throws that's what we got.

The Braves stayed within reach by going 11-for-15 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Vandebilt went 7-for-18 from the charity stripe.

It's one of the things Toups, in his first year with Vandebilt, wants his team to work on this summer, along with blocking out and taking charges. Still, the defense has been the biggest improvement since Toups arrived last month, he said.

"Earlier this summer if a guy individually got beat on the dribble, the opponent would score," he recalled. "But now when one of our guys gets beat there are a couple of other people ready to help him out."

For Caillouet and the Braves, the key word this summer is consistency.

"Right now we don't know who's going to hit or knock down a jumper for us. Who's going make that big defensive stop? What post guy who going make the play down low?" he said. "They're all making plays from time to time, and yet they're all not making plays from time to time."

Caillouet viewed the second H.L. Bourgeois Team Camp as a success and believed each coach left the tournament with a good feeling of their teams.

"The bottom line of summer is you want the kids to play," Caillouet said. "I know from my team, and I'm sure every other team, you got to see a lot of different combinations on the floor."

Also from the H.L. Bourgeois Team Camp on Saturday, Vandebilt Catholic defeated Lutcher 60-34, Destrehan defeated Covenant Christian 42-38, Lutcher defeated Covenant Christian 51-46, H.L. Bourgeois defeated Central Catholic 56-29, Destrehan defeated H.L. Bourgeois 62-43, Lutcher defeated Destrehan 55-32, Covenant Christian defeated Central Catholic 44-39 and Vandebilt Catholic defeated Central Catholic.