Central Catholic High School's D.J. Lewis
(The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

Country Day tops CCHS

After a rough end to the first quarter, Central Catholic came back and made it a game against Metairie Park Country Day during a nondistrict contest in Morgan City Tuesday night.
However, the home standing Eagles fell 54-51 in a game in which it was plagued by free-throw shooting.
The Eagles (18-8) finished 14-of-21 from the line in the narrow loss.
However, Central Catholic, ranked No. 2 in the latest Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Division IV power rankings, had a chance up until the final horn against Division III’s second-ranked squad.
With 1.4 seconds remaining, the Eagles had the ball under their own basket for an inbounds play after it was knocked out of play by Country Day.
However, the Eagles’ Taylor Blanchard’s inbounds pass towards an Eagle behind the three-point line was stolen by Country Day’s Xane Hunter, who then ran out the clock to preserve the win.
While the game was competitive for much of the first quarter, Country Day, a Louisiana basketball powerhouse, went on an 8-0 run within the last three minutes of the first quarter for a 22-12 lead to end the quarter and looked on the verge of breaking the game open.
However, Central Catholic responded with a 17-6 scoring advantage in the second period and trailed 29-28 at halftime.
In that second quarter, the Eagles took their first lead since the first quarter on Davidyione Bias’ layup with less than 40 seconds remaining for a 28-27 advantage, but Country Day (20-8) responded on its final possession. Hunter grabbed an offensive rebound after his own miss and converted the bucket just before the buzzer for a 29-28 Cajuns advantage at the break.
In the third quarter, Central Catholic scored the period’s first six points for a 34-29 advantage after a Central Catholic layup with 5:31 remaining.
Country Day came back and tied the game at 34 on Kaleb Jenkins’ bucket with 3:50 left in the third period.
From there, the largest lead either team had the remainder of the game was a five-point advantage by Country Day at 51-46 after Nicky Corchiani sank the first of two free-throw attempts with 1:11 remaining.
Central Catholic cut its deficit to as little as 53-51 with 12.6 seconds remaining when Thomas sank two free throw to cut Central Catholic’s deficit to 53-51, but Justin Ibieta countered as he made one of two free throws for a 54-51 advantage.
Central Catholic’s Tyler Smith’s game-tying three-point attempt was off the mark, but the ball was knocked out of bounds by Country Day with 1.4 seconds left setting up the game’s finish.
Thomas led three Eagles in double figures with 12 points. Other Central Catholic scorers were Blanchard, 11; Bias, 10; D.J. Lewis, eight; Elijah Swan, six; and Smith, four.
Ibieta led Country Day with 18 points, while Kaleb Jenkins also reached double figures with 13.
Central Catholic will return to action Thursday when it travels to face Hanson Memorial in District 7-1A action.

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