Hot-shooting Country Day too much for CCHS
Central Catholic’s Tyler Hoffpauir dribbles toward the basket while defended by Metairie Park Country Day’s Kent McGuire. Hoffpauir led the Eagles with 17 points in a 76-48 loss to the defending Class 1A state champions. (The Daily Review/Corwin Murray)
Central Catholic had Metairie-Park Country Day on its heels.
With the Eagles trailing 16-13 early in the second quarter, Country Day’s 6-foot, 9-inch center Scott Plaisance went down with an injury and had to be helped off the court.
With not having to worry about a big post presence, the Eagles seemed to relax and get into the game while Country Day adjusted.
However, Country Day (25-9) regrouped, got hot from 3-point range again like they started the game and never were threatened again, taking a 36-18 lead into halftime and cruising to a 76-48 victory in Class 1A regional round action.
Central Catholic coach Ree Case said Plaisance’s departure from the game was the “turning point” as he said Country Day went to a five-guard lineup.
“They just totally changed what they did, and they just started playing harder than we did,” Case said.
After Plaisance went out and the Cajuns adjusted, they connected on four 3-pointers, two by Michael Corchiani and one each by J.C. Younger and McCall Simons for the Cajuns’ final points of the half.
Country Day coach Mike McGuire said he thought the last four minutes of the half when the Cajuns did their damage was key, “because it showed our guys that we could play without Scott, but it also showed them (Central Catholic) that we weren’t going to lay down because Scott wasn’t in.”
Country Day jumped out to an 11-0 lead to begin the game with 5:22 left in the first quarter on a run that included three 3-pointers — two on the Cajuns’ first two possessions by Kent McGuire and Corchiani, respectively.
Central Catholic (17-12) finally got on the board with 4:54 remaining when Nicholas Case hit a 3-pointer and another by Samarick Paul cut the deficit to 11-6 with 4:35 remaining.
Country Day would take a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“I thought we had a good plan coming in,” Coach Case said. “Early in the game, I thought we executed the plan. We just couldn’t make a shot.”
With the big halftime lead, the Cajuns continued to extend their lead in the third quarter with a 16-10 scoring advantage for a 52-28 lead after three quarters before a 24-20 scoring outburst in the final period for the easy win.
“They just made too many shots in the second half for us to cut the lead,” Coach Case said.
In the fourth quarter, Central Catholic lost senior Nick Case, who was ejected from the game after picking up two quick technical fouls in his final contest as an Eagle.
Case reached double figures for the Eagles with 12 points, while Tyler Hoffpauir led Central Catholic with 17 points. Other top contributors for the Eagles included Samarick Paul with eight and Jalen Johnson with four.
The Eagles made six 3-pointers.
Country Day had four players in double figures led by Younger’s 27, which included four 3-pointers. McColl Simms scored 12; Corchiani, 11; and McGuire, 10.
Country Day had 12 3-point baskets in the contest.
“I don’t know what our percentage was, but it was high,” McGuire said.
Country Day now will play the winner of No. 5 Christian Life and No. 12 Louisiana New Tech-Plain Dealing match set for today.
For Central Catholic, Monday’s game marked the end of the high school hoops careers of the Eagles’ two seniors, Hoffpauir and Case, Coach Case’s son.
“I just told Nick and Tyler, five years went really fast,” Coach Case said following the game. “I really enjoyed coaching them. I coached them since they were in Biddy Basketball.”
Entering the season, Coach Case said the two seniors were the only two who had started a varsity hoops contest.
“I thought our two seniors did well because they had to go from being the fourth and fifth option on the team to being the first and second option on the team, which is not an easy transition,” Coach Case said. “They went from being the two guys that were left wide open to the two guys that everybody guards. I thought they did a good job handing it. We won a lot of games. I’ll miss ’em a lot. I really think we overachieved as a team this year with the guys that we had and as young as we were.”