No. 17 Plain Dealing shocks No. 1 CCHS
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
PLAIN DEALING — Central Catholic coach Ree Case doesn’t blame the referees. He doesn’t blame the road trip. And he doesn’t blame it on the combined 58 points, including eight 3-pointers by Plain Dealing guards, Deaumante Johnson and Cardarnous Ray.
Instead, Case said his top ranked squad’s 83-77 overtime loss at the hands of No. 17 Plain Dealing is the result of CCHS not doing the little things.
Specifically, his squad didn’t hit its free throws to close out the victory in regulation.
CCHS’ senior standout Lloyd Grogan missed two free throws with 16 seconds left and Plain Dealing’s No. 2 was able to convert the second of two free throws with nine seconds left to tie the game at 72 and force overtime.
Johnson, who struggled at the line in the fourth quarter, made amends in the overtime period as his team outscored CCHS, 11-5, to pull out the upset victory.
“We talk about doing little things, and we just didn’t do them tonight,” Case said. “We didn’t take charges. We didn’t make free throws down the stretch. If we do the little things, we win the game. It doesn’t go into overtime. We just didn’t get it done. They did and we didn’t.”
CCHS’ loss was just the second time a No. 1 seed in boys’ basketball has been knocked out in the second round since the Louisiana High School Athletic Association went to the power ranking format.
The only other time it occurred was in 2008 when Parkview Baptist ousted Class 3A’s top seed, St. Louis, in a 61-60 regional round upset.
Despite the upset, CCHS’ matchup was nip-and-tuck the entire way as neither team took more than a seven point lead.
While CCHS had Grogan, Dontrell Brown and Nick Case putting up double figures, Plain Dealing countered with Johnson and Ray.
Johnson put up a game high 39 points, including four three-pointers.
His teammate, Ray, added 30 points and another four three-pointers.
The score was tied at 13 after Lamar Grogan put back a Brent Green miss on a free throw near the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Plain Dealing extended its lead by seven, to 27-20 on a Johnson assist to Ray for a three-pointer with about 4:10 remaining in the half. The three-pointer was Plain Dealing’s fourth of the quarter.
Unfazed, CCHS had retaken the lead, 30-29, almost three minutes later on a Dontrell Brown steal with less than two minutes remaining.
Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the first half and went into halftime tied at 36.
“I told them (his team) I’ll never get over this loss,” Case said. “I won’t. This is a game I will replay in my mind for the rest of my life. We just didn’t do the things that we needed to do. Like I tell them, it’s on us. I didn’t think we played our best game but we still should have won.”
The loss meant more than the end of the season this year. It meant the end of the careers of CCHS seniors Lloyd Grogan, Tyler Louviere, Jovon Johnson, Kendall Robinson and Conner LeBlanc.
“I just lost five good young men,” Case said. “That’s the part that hurts and that’s the part that I won’t get over.”