CCHS blows past Tensas
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
Heading into his teams’s Class 1A first round boys basketball matchup against Tensas, Central Catholic coach Ree Case said his top-ranked squad would be facing an athletic opponent in No. 32 Tensas High School who would try to run up and down the floor with the Eagles.
And that’s exactly what Case got during Tuesday night’s game as Tensas played toe-for-toe with CCHS (2 for much of the first half before CCHS used transition baskets off of turnovers to help it pull away for a 92-49 first round victory.
While CCHS (24-4 overall) coasted at the end, the squad got all it could handle from Tensas, initially as the visitors were not intimidated by the Eagles.
After a Tensas bucket by No. 5 to begin the game, CCHS’s Dontrell Brown’s drive to the basket was soundly rejected by No. 20 on the other end.
However, Brown responded with a three pointer later off a Nick Case assist for a 3-2 CCHS lead, one they would never relinquish.
CCHS would take no more than an eight point lead through the remainder of the first quarter and ended the period with a 21-13 advantage.
“I thought especiall early, we had to adjust a little bit to their athleticism,” CCHS coach Ree Case said. “Some things we’ve done in the last three weeks we tried and we just couldn’t do it. They were athletic enough to go get some passes we threw. We just needed to settle down and start playing better basketball.”
THS cut the CCHS lead to 21-16 on a No. 2 three pointer with about 7:45 remaining in the first quarter, but from there, the Eagles began to pull away, embarking on a 28-8 run to conclude the remainder of the first half.
The drive was propelled by CCHS conversion of several THS turnovers into points as well as three, three pointers, none bigger than a three-quarter length heave by CCHS’ Lloyd Grogan at the buzzer for a 49-24 CCHS lead.
CCHS was aided during the drive from a switch from a man defense to a 3-2 zone, something the squad hasn’t used this year but has worked on.
“It definitely changed the momentum in the game,” Case said. “I don’t think they were ready for it, and they didn’t adjust to it very well. We were able to get a lead and after that they had to play for behind.”
THS never threatened CCHS in the second half as the Eagles were able to outscore Tensas 22-18 in the third quarter and 21-17 in the fourth.
“They just manhandled us,” THS coach Carl Washington said. “They’re a good team. We couldn’t stop the fast break.”
Grogan led CCHS with 36 points, three blocks, two steals, one assists and 13 rebounds, while D. Brown chipped in 17 points, two blocks, six steals, three assists and eight rebounds.
Other CCHS contributors included: Josh Singleton, eight points, seven steals, 12 assists and seven rebounds; Nick Case, eight points, one block, three steals, three assists and four rebounds; Brent Green, eight points, one block, three steals, five assists and a rebound; Lamar Grogan, four points, one block, two steals and assists and nine rebounds; Kendall Robinson, four points, one steal and three rebounds; Tyler Louviere, three points; Tyler Hoffpauir, two points, two blocks, and four rebounds; and David Brown, two points and one block.
Case credited the play of his bench as a factor in Tuesday’s victory.
“Our bench played phenomenally tonight,” Case said after Tuesday’s game. “They gave us energy. They gave us points. They gave us defense. They just turned the game. Eventually, we just wore them down.”
Chris Brown led Tensas with 25 points, while Author Gray and Andre Watkins added 13 and 12 points, respecitively for the visitors.
The Eagles will return to action in the second round when they travel to north Louisiana to face No. 17 seed Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing in the second round. La. New Tech upset No. 16 seed and District 8-1A runner up Vermilion Catholic in Abbeville on Tuesday, 63-43.