MATHEWS – A little defensive pressure and lights out shooting in the third quarter was all Central Lafourche needed in its 69-34 nondistrict win over Chalmette in the opening night of the first-annual Trojan Bayou Classic on Thursday.
The Trojans (5-5 overall) led 15-6 after the first quarter and 26-21 at halftime
In the third quarter, Central Lafourche exploded with a key 29-11 run to take a commanding 55-32 advantage at the end of the period.
Trojans coach Mark Sanders said a switch from zone to man defense in the second half helped slow down Chalmette’s offense.
“Once we got out there in the second half, we went half-court man,” Sanders said. “We put some pressure on them and got them out of rhythm a little bit.”
After forcing several turnovers, Central Lafourche’s offense got going in the third quarter, nailing four key 3-pointers.
“We needed to hit some perimeter shots,” Sanders said. “We needed to hit the 3’s and free throws. Once we got that game going, it just opened up the lanes for some drives. That’s what we want to get – a combination of layups, dribbling shots and 3-pointers.”
Junior guard Marvin Robertson Jr. led the Trojans with 20 points, scoring 14 in the third quarter alone. He made four 3-pointers in the game.
Sanders said Robertson was a spark in all areas of the game for the Trojans.
“Marvin also played great defense on their guards and made some great passes as well,” Sanders said. “We’re proud of his effort (Thursday night).”
Robertson said his mind was on Thursday’s game hours before tip-off. He said the Trojans were determined to get a win to start the tournament, especially after suffering a 59-56 loss to Salmen in their previous game at the Chalmette tournament on Dec. 16.
“I got to the gym around 2 p.m. (Thursday),” Robertson said. “I got some shots up. I got some of my teammates to come get some shots up with me and everything. It all started with warmups.”
Robertson said no team can stop them when they are scoring points on offense and locking down opponents on defense. He said their offensive and defensive attacks feed off each other.
“We can go real far this season,” said Robertson, who missed his entire sophomore year last season with a knee injury. “I’m looking for a state championship. I want a ring. We just have to play together. We got to find our chemistry and everything. We just have to play together, play defense and our main scorers have to score.”
Other leading scorers for Central Lafourche were Alex Sanders (12 points), Jamiree Williams (10 points) and David Robinson Jr. (eight points).
C.J. Williams led Chalmette (3-11) with 10 points, and Tedrick Williams had eight points.
“They put a lot of pressure on us,” Chalmette coach William Stockton said. “We didn’t handle the pressure really well. We threw the ball away. We got in foul trouble and that didn’t help. We turned the ball over entirely too much. You just can’t do that and expect to win a basketball game.”
The Trojan Bayou Classic will wrap up today with Central Catholic taking on Chalmette at 5:30 p.m. and Central Lafourche facing Assumption at 7 p.m.
Sanders said he encourages the public to come out and watch some good basketball during the Christmas holidays.
“(Tonight) will be good,” Sanders said. “I wish more people were coming. I know it’s the Christmas season and they’re all shopping, but I wish we could get a good crowd here tonight.”
BOYS BASKETBALL CAPSULES
ASSUMPTION 64, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 60 (at Trojan Bayou Classic in Mathews, nondistrict game)
Score by quarters: Assumption led 16-14 after the first quarter, Central Catholic led 32-31 at halftime and Central Catholic led 52-48 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Assumption – Chandler Breaux (13 points), Josh Ratcliff (12 points), Dongell Washington (10 points) and Marlon Robinson (nine points).
Note: With the score tied at 60, Assumption’s Chandler Breaux scored the go-ahead basket with 13 seconds left.
Records: Assumption (7-8 overall); Central Catholic (4-4 overall).
THIBODAUX 66, PLAQUEMINE 46 (at Plaquemine, nondistrict game)
Score by quarters: The score was tied at 14 after the first quarter, Thibodaux led 26-24 at halftime and Thibodaux led 51-30 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Thibodaux – Jaquan Wagner (21 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, three steals and three assists), Kobi Johnson (17 points, three steals and rebounds each), Corey Johnson (eight points, eight rebounds, five assists), Kyren Lacy (eight points, seven rebounds, four steals).
Records: Thibodaux (10-2 overall); Plaquemine (7-6 overall).
VANDEBILT CATHOLIC AT LUSHER CHARTER CANCELLED
The scheduled game between Vandebilt and Lusher Charter on Thursday was listed as cancelled on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s website.
-- Compiled by Chris Singleton/Staff Writer