Eagles lose in Sunkist semifinals
By: SCOTT JOINER
LAFAYETTE — It was a long night for Central Catholic’s basketball team in the Sunkist Shootout semifinals on Thursday.
The Eagles played the hosts, St. Thomas More (16-2), and kept it close in the first half but the Cougars surged ahead and took a 50-28 win to book a spot in the tournament finals today at 7 p.m.
“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Case said. “We got in foul trouble and we just didn’t play very good basketball. We got frustrated on offense and defense, committed some silly fouls. We just couldn’t make shots and we let it frustrate us on offense and defense.”
CCHS (10-2) trailed 21-14 at half time and, during the second quarter, had cut the lead to 15-11 but a scrappy defensive effort from STM gave the Eagles trouble bringing the ball up the court. The Eagles finished with 19 turnovers.
“I thought our intensity on defense was really nice, we played good team basketball,” STM coach Danny Broussard said. “Our defense was phenomenal. To hold that team, even without (a starter), to hold that team to under 30 is really a tribute to our defense.”
The Eagles shot 34 percent from the field compared to 46 percent for St. Thomas More.
Lloyd Grogan led the Eagles with 12 points and Josh Singleton added nine points. Grogan added seven rebounds and four steals, but he was heavily pressured by STM and finished with seven turnovers.
CCHS was without one of its top scoring options as Dontrell Brown was away at an Under Armor football combine.
Even with Brown, Case said he didn’t think the Eagles would’ve won.
“It’s something we knew about, if he had been here and we played the way we did, he had nothing to do with the way we played,” Case said. “We just weren’t ready to play.”
Broussard was disappointed that the Eagles were not at full strength. The Cougars lost to CCHS in the quarterfinals last season and wanted a shot at the full-strength team.
“There is no doubt that hurt them a lot,” Broussard said. “It give them one more threat. (Brown) can score 20 points a game. It’s unfortunate, I wish he would’ve played. We wanted to face them at full strength. They came in last year and took it to us. I think that had something to do with our guys being ready tonight.”
The Eagles will face the loser of last night’s Ellender game against Vandebilt Catholic in the third place game at 5:30 p.m.