Knights slay CCHS; end Eagles’ district streak

I know Central Catholic has a good program.

For about the past five years, the Central Catholic Eagles often rolled past district opponents on their way to easy victories and 39 straight district wins.
Monday night, Central Catholic experienced the unordinary as they dropped a 94-61 decision to Lafayette Christian in a matchup of District 7-1A’s undefeated squads. Both the Knights and the Eagles entered the game with 4-0 marks in league play.
The loss ended what had become an impressive district win streak for the Eagles, who hadn’t lost a district contest since dropping a 51-36 decision to Vermilion Catholic on Feb. 13, 2008, their only loss of district that season.
Since then, the Eagles have recorded many easy district wins on their long streak.
But on Monday, Lafayette Christian, with its considerable size advantage and hot 3-point shooting, proved to be too much.
While he didn’t show a lot of emotion, Lafayette Christian coach Byron Starks, whose squad moved to Class 1A this season, said beating Central Catholic was “big.”
“I know Central Catholic has a good program,” Starks said. “They have some good athletes. They’ve been ruling and reigning in their district 10 to 12 years. Everybody always talks about Central Catholic.”
However, Starks said he and his players don’t get extremely excited about the win, instead, still recognizing they need to get better.
With the win, Lafayette Christian (17-3 overall, 5-0) took control of first place in the District 7-1A standings, while Central Catholic fell to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in league play.
“We just didn’t play very well,” Central Catholic coach Ree Case said. “I thought we played hard. We didn’t execute on offense, and we just didn’t play very good defense. … If we give up 50 points in a half, it’s going to be hard for us to win. We gave up 53 points in the first half and 40 points in the second half. We can’t win playing that kind of defense. We’ve got to get better on defense.”
Already ahead 53-37 heading into the third quarter, Lafayette Christian continued to extend its advantage while Central Catholic, looking to get back in the ball game, simply went cold on offense.
After buckets by Nicholas Case and Tyler Hoffpauir in the first few minutes of the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 55-41, the Eagles went scoreless for nearly 2.5 minutes.
Meanwhile, Lafayette Christian took advantage with a 10-0 run to stretch its lead to 63-41 after Brandon Jero’s 3-pointer.
Lafayette Christian would finish the game with 13 3-pointers on 28 attempts.
“We have a very versatile team,” Starks said. “There have been nights where we’ve had to go inside and pound’ em, but when our guards are hitting shots like that, it opens up everything.”
Central Catholic finally broke the scoring drought on Case’s lay-in with 2:31 remaining to make the score 63-43, but Central Catholic could get no closer the rest of the way.
Central Catholic had its only lead of the game at 4-0 after Tyler Hoffpauir’s basket early on.
Lafayette Christian took over from there, with a three-pointer by Jordan Parker and a basket by Jacob LeDoux to take a 5-4 lead.
LCA scored nine of the game’s next 11 points for a 14-6 advantage, prompting Central Catholic to call a timeout.
Lafayette Christian continued to extend its lead to 27-14 at the end of the first quarter.
While the Eagles did a better job keeping pace with the Knights in the second quarter, they could not cut into the lead. Central Catholic entered halftime with a 53-37 deficit.
“I’m glad we got to play a game like this in district,” Case said. “I really wish we would have had to do this the last six, seven, eight years. The good thing is we got another tough opponent on Friday and we keep going, and we play them again in another couple weeks. This will make us better. I think it humbled us a little bit, and we got to get back to work.”
Hoffpauir led Central Catholic with 16 points, while Samarick Paul had 10.
Other top contributors included Case and Cedric Gant, nine each; Stefano Guarisco, seven; and T.J. Ruffin, four.
LeDoux led Lafayette Christian with 26 points, including five 3-pointers; while Kalob LeDoux had 18 points; Parker, 12; and Jacob Broussard, 10.
Things won’t get any easier for the Eagles Friday as they travel to take on Ellender in a 7 p.m. contest.
Earlier this season, Ellender handed Lafayette Christian one of its three losses, a 64-59 defeat.
CCHS girls win
It took a little while for them to get going, but once they did, the Central Catholic Lady Eagles eased past Lafayette Christian, 75-47, in District 7-1A play Monday.
While the Lady Eagles trailed 13-11 after the first quarter, the Morgan City-based squad got things going in the second quarter with a 25-8 scoring advantage to take a 36-19 halftime lead.
Central Catholic never was threatened again as it blew the game open in the third quarter with a 28-8 scoring advantage, taking a 64-27 lead and sending star guards Meo Knight and Randi Brown to the bench for the fourth quarter.
Lafayette Christian outscored Central Catholic 20-11 in the final quarter.
Brown led Central Catholic with a double-double with 37 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and four assists, while Knight scored 20 points and also recorded eight rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Other top contributors included Hallie Autin, seven points, two steals and two rebounds; and Gee Garrett, seven points, one block and six rebounds.
Central Catholic (18-2 overall, 6-0 in district) will return to action Friday when it steps out of district for a matchup with Ellender. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

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