Patterson High School's K.J. Paul
(The Daily Review/Mico Aloisio)
'Jacks rout Kaplan 68-35
No. 8 Patterson’s fast, aggressive defense was too much for No. 25 Kaplan to handle in the teams’ Class 3A bi-district matchup at Patterson Friday as the Lumberjacks bolted out to a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter en route to a 68-35 win.
While Kaplan took its only lead of the night at 2-0 on a basket by Noah Brown, the Lumberjacks tied the game at 2 on two free throws by Elijah Williams with 6:30 remaining before a layup by K.J. Paul following a Kaplan turnover gave the Lumberjacks a lead they would never relinquish.
After Kaplan cut its deficit to 8-6 on a layin by Trent Dupius, Patterson went on a 12-0 run to close the quarter for a 20-6 advantage.
Patterson senior Tyrone Tillman, who led the team with 18 points, said defense is critical for the Lumberjacks each game.
“No matter how the offense is, defense is the key to win the game,” Tillman said.
Assistant Coach Mark Johnson, who along with assistant coach Carlos Brooks led the team in head coach Edwin Colbert’s absence, said, “They didn’t want to play a fast-paced game, but we dictated the tempo of the game, and that’s how we got easy shots and all the (forced) turnovers.”
Colbert was not present for Friday’s game, Patterson Principal Lane Larive said, after the coach was forced to sit out the playoff game by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Larive said the discipline stemmed from Colbert removing his jacket during at District 9-3A championship game “when they had some friction at the Lutcher game.”
Larive said Colbert would return to the sideline for Tuesday’s regional round game at home against No. 9 Richwood at 6 p.m.. Richwood advanced after defeating No. 24 Glen Oaks 98-67 in other first-round action Friday.
Colbert Sunday said it was “just a bad mistake on my part, and learn from it and keep moving.”
In Friday’s win, Kaplan had a size advantage inside with 6-foot, 5-inch post player Daniel Poole, who blocked multiple shots; however, the Lumberjacks did well early getting second-chance shots while the game still was close.
“We told them come out, make sure you put a body on the big guy, because if you didn’t he was going to jump over you, and we preached boxing out and then going after the ball,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the team did a good job of it, although there were some slip ups where he was able to do what he wanted and get the defensive rebound.
“For the most part, we maintained everything with the big guy, and we were able to control him,” Johnson said.
While Patterson continued to pull away, Kaplan struggled to score as the Lumberjacks’ lead ballooned to 30-6 on Paul’s three-pointer following a Kaplan turnover.
Kaplan finally got on the board again when Dupuis hit the second of two free-throw attempts with 5:53 remaining to make the score 30-7.
Patterson went into halftime up 36-11, and in the second half, the Lumberjacks extended their lead to as much as 62-24 with 5:19 remaining on Dillon Gunner’s basket with 5:19 remaining.
Other Patterson scorers were as follows: Paul, 17; Elijah Williams, 10; Gunner, six; Randon Paul, four; Kai Schexnayder, Kendall Francois, Ty Walton and Christian Johnson, two each; and Louis Jones, one.
Dupius led Kaplan with 16 points, while Poole also reached double figures with 10 points.