KENNER – It was a tough, hard fought game with bodies flying, blocked shots swatted into the stands and players leaping over chairs chasing loose balls.
But when it was over, Bonnabel had a little too much height inside for Thibodaux, ending the Tigers playoff run with a 61-55 win at home in Tuesday Class 5A second-round game.
“We just missed too many opportunities,” Thibodaux coach Tony Clark said. “There were about three times in the last four minutes when she should have had the ball, but some kind of way we lost it. We just missed too many chances. That’s what it came down to.”
The first quarter began slowly, with both teams showing some jitters, missing shots and turning the ball over. Jaquan Wagner (16 points) got nine of those points in the first quarter, scoring seven of the Tigers’ first 10 points.
Thibodaux led 10-5 halfway through the quarter, but the Bruins fought back, taking a 15-12 lead before Kobi Johnson (16 points) hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie it at 15 all after one.
Thibodaux scored the first four of the second quarter but Bonnabel fought back, tying the game at 23 before Will Allen (11 points) hit a beautiful hook shot to put the Bruins up by two.
Thibodaux would never hold the lead again. Bonnabel’s defense tightened on Wagner, and the Bruins took a 31-28 lead into the locker room.
“We adjusted a little bit, went to more of a zone,” Bonnabel coach Glenn Dyer said. “(Wagner) is so big and strong, and we were letting him catch the ball early and he was able to make plays. But we were able to get him to play further out, and he became a passer, not a driver.”
Scoring was sparse in the third quarter. Johnson hit a 3-poitner to bring to the Tigers to within two, but Bruin point guard T.J. Collins, who led all scorers with 23, sank a jumper with a little over two minutes left, putting the Bruins up by five. Thibodaux closed to three, but Collins hit an NBA length 3-pointer at the buzzer, making it 42-36 at the end of three.
The Bruins took a 10-point lead to start the fourth, with Jason Christoff and Collins hitting back to back jumpers. Corey Johnson (six points) came back with a 3-pointer, but Rodney Munson (21 points) came back with a plus one and a layup, pushing the lead back to 10.
The Tigers closed to within four on a 6-0 run. Demarcus Mitchell hit a layup and two foul shots, and Kobi Johnson put back his own missed 3-point attempt, cutting the lead to 52-48 with 2:56 left.
Johnson fouled out with 2:52 left, taking away the Tigers biggest long range threat.
The Tigers cut the lead to 56-53 with 1:02 left, but Munson completed a plus one, and then hit two foul shots in the closing seconds for the six point win.
“I just told the team that they exceeded what most people thought we would do this season,” Clark said. “So we’re proud of the year. I’m proud of the guys. They did a great job.”
TUESDAY’S BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFF CAPSULES
DIVISION II SECOND ROUND
NO. 6 ST. MICHAEL 63, NO. 11 E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC 30 (at Baton Rouge, Division II second round playoff game)
Score by quarter: St. Michael led 12-5 after the first quarter, 32-14 at halftime and 52-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: EDW – Charles Brady (eight points), Zachary Templet (seven points)
Records: St. Michael (16-8 overall); E.D. White (6-19 overall)
--Compiled by sports writer Kelly McElroy.