Wildcats get offense rolling; move into first place in District 9-3A

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / February 2, 2000

LUTCHER – For the first 10 minutes of its game Friday night, Lutcher was able to keep the St. James’ transition game contained.And then the levee burst.

St. James poured it on in the final six minutes of the second quarter,outscoring the Bulldogs, 21-10, on its way to a 93-62 victory in the battle for first place in District 9-3A.

St. James improved to 4-0 in district and 13-4 overall. Lutcher fell to 2-1 indistrict play and 14-7 overall.

Corey Webster led the Wildcats’ attack with a game-high 33 points and five steals. Claudell Parker tossed in 18 points while Leslie Aubert added 11.Lutcher was led by Courtney Long with 16 points. Donnie Francoiscontributed 11 while Thomas Ricks had eight.

The Wildcats and Bulldogs went on a scoring spree in the first quarter with St. James taking an early 9-6 lead on a pass from Aubert to Joseph Christyand a free throw by Aubert. Justin Aubert drove the lane off a pass fromWebster to make it 15-12. Lutcher came right back with Long taking a stealin and Ricks putting back a shot to give the Bulldogs a 16-15 lead.

St. James answered as Webster found Justin Aubert inside. After a Lutcherturnover, Jereal Dillon drained a 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer, giving the Wildcats a 20-16 advantage.

Lutcher pulled to within three early in the second quarter as Ricks found Long downcourt. A put back by Parker and two free throws by Webster builtthe lead up to 27-20 with 5:12 left in the half. After Webster and Nicholastraded 3-pointers, Christy took a block and found Webster driving downcourt. Parker then grabbed a steal and found Webster who drove in fora dunk, making it 34-25 with 3:17 left.

Steve Jones banked in a jumper from the right baseline to make it 39-25.

Clarence Weber knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner to cut the deficit to 11 but Webster came right back with a 3 from the right corner to make it 44-30 at the half.

St. James kept up the defensive pressure as the second half opened. On theopening possession, Christy grabbed a steal and found Webster downcourt. Asteal by Webster led to a layup by Parker and a 50-33 lead. The Wildcatsthen went to their outside game as Webster hit two 3-pointers and Leslie Aubert added another on successive possessions to make it 59-36.

A 3-pointer by Dillon and a put back by Weber cut the deficit to 19 with two minutes left but the Wildcats continued to get their offense in high gear. Alayup by Parker off a rebound by Justin Aubert helped St. James take a 69-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

“I thought our big men did a good job,” St. James coach Lionel Ezidore said.”We wanted to give them one shot, get the rebound and get in our transition game.”St. James continued to do so into the fourth quarter. Leslie Aubert hit a 3-pointer and Christy nailed a jumper from the right baseline to make it 78-49.

After a 3-pointer by Kayne Matherne, Aubert and Parker drove in to increase the lead to 30.

“We did a good job of moving the ball around,” Webster said. “We wanted toget the open man the shot and move the ball around to break the zone.”Lutcher coach Don Fernandez credited the St. James defense for breakingthe game open in the second quarter.

“In the second quarter, they did the things they are capable of,” Fernandez said. “They played much better defense than they usually have. They forcedus to change some out shots and made some good defensive plays.”

St. James 36, Lutcher 28

LUTCHER – St. James took command in the third quarter and held off a lateLutcher rally to get its first District 9-3A win of the season, 36-28, Friday night.

Lutcher had rallied from a 10-point deficit to close to within 30-28 in the last minute on a pass from Javonna Ross to Brandi Derbigny underneath. ButTamara Neal came back with a 3-pointer from the left wing to increase the lead back to five with 42 seconds left. A layup by Ashton Grant off a stealby Jerrolyn Gros iced the game with 10 seconds left.

St. James took a 29-19 lead with 6:13 remaining in the game before Lutcherbegan its comeback. Kaneeka Taylor took a steal in to make it a seven-pointgame with four minutes left. After she hit two free throws, Taylor tookanother steal and drive in, making it 29-26 at the 3:20 mark.

Tremika Lewis hit the first of two free throws to increase the lead back to four with 1:02 left.

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