Comets win first SELAC crown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 13, 2000

LAPLACE – It was a history-making night for St. Charles Catholic Saturday atthe LaPlace Ford Southeast Louisiana All-Catholic Tournament held in the Comet gym.

St. Charles Catholic won the tournament title for the first time in the five-year history of the event, defeating St. Thomas Aquinas, 81-69, in thefinals. In the process, the Comets set tournament records for points in agame (81) and a tournament (213) and for highest scoring average (71 points per game).

St. Charles Catholic, which defeated Bishop Sullivan, 59-51, Friday toadvance to the finals, improved to 10-5 on the season. St. Thomas Aquinas,coming off a 58-54 victory over Redemptorist in the semifinals, fell to 3-7.

Mike Mustian, Daress Nicholas and Alton Alexander were named to the all- tournament team from the Comets. Mustian led the way Saturday with 30points. Nicholas and Alexander had 15 points apiece.St. Thomas Aquinas’ Byron Robertson was selected as the tournament’smost valuable player after scoring a game-high 32 points Saturday.

Robertson, who hold seven individual tournament records, averaged 28.3points per game in the tournament. It was the second straight time he hasbeen chosen as the most valuable player.

John Tenini added 15 points for the Falcons.

The Comets had to hold off a furious charge by the Falcons after taking a 62-47 lead into the fourth quarter. Tenini cut the deficit to 12 early in thefinal quarter with a 3-pointer from the left wing. Matt Boucvalt tapped in arebound to build the lead back to 15 but Robertson answered with a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 65-53 with 6:43 remaining.

A layup by Robertson off a steal brought the Falcons to within four with just over five minutes left. Mustian dropped a pass inside to Boucvalt but theFalcons came back with a 3-pointer by Derek Richardson to make it 67-64 with 4:49 left. Two possessions later, Richardson scored on a put back tomake it a one-point game.

St. Thomas Aquinas had a chance to take the lead but Tenini was called fortraveling after grabbing a rebound. Nicholas then found Aaron Johnson for ashort jumper in the lane to build the lead back to three.

After a five-second call against the Falcons, Mustian buried a 3-pointer from the right corner, increasing the lead to 72-66 with 3:10 left.

Tenini hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to bring the Falcons to within 74-69 with 2:40 left. But Mustian and Nicholas would hit two free throws apiece andJohnson scored off a rebound by Alexander as the Comets pulled away in the final minute.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of the kids than I am right now,” St. CharlesCatholic head coach Phillip Cavell said. “We stepped up and made the playswhen we had to.”St. Charles Catholic opened the game on a 5-0 run behind a 3-pointer and alayup by Mustian. St. Thomas Aquinas came back to take a 14-11 lead on ajumper by Tenini.

Alexander gave the Comets back the lead with a hook shot in the lane but Robertson hit two free throws with 2.7 seconds left to give the Falcons a16-15 lead after the first quarter.

St. Charles Catholic took the lead for good at 21-20 on a drive by Mustianwith 4:38 left in the half. Like they did in the first game of the tournamentagainst Archbishop Hannan, the Comets pulled away with a late second quarter run. Nicholas pulled up in the lane for a jumper and Mustian hit twofree throws for a 25-20 lead with 3:56 left. A put back by Alexander and alayup by Johnson made it a 31-22 game with 2:32 left.

A jumper by Quincy Seaberry and a layup off a steal by Tenini brought St.

Thomas Aquinas to within eight with under a minute to play. But Nicholascame back with two free throws, giving the Comets a 41-31 halftime lead.

Jerry Gair had scored off a pass from Nicholas to make it 49-37 with 4:15 left when Robertson and the Falcons’ bench were assessed technical fouls.

Mustian made all four free throws, increasing the lead to 16.

With 1:50 left in the quarter, St. Thomas Aquinas coach Errol Gauff wasejected from the game after being assessed two more technicals. Mustianmade three of the four free throws, making it 59-44.

In earlier action Saturday, Redemptorist defeated Bishop Sullivan, 47-41, in the third-place game as Marloe LeBlanc scored a game-high 19 points.

Sammy D’Agostino had 14 points for Sullivan. E.D. White defeated Catholic ofNew Iberia, 44-33, in the consolations behind 12 points by Gabe Garrett. JoeyTrappey had eight points for Catholic.

Nicholas had 23 points to lead St. Charles Catholic to its victory over BishopSullivan Friday. Alexander chipped in with 13. Farr had 18 points for Sullivan.Robertson scored 33 points in St. Thomas Aquinas’ victory overRedemptorist. Chris Fussell added 10 points. LeBlanc had 26 points forRedemptorist. Elliot Brock had another 14 points.Catholic of New Iberia defeated Hannan, 59-49, as Michael Migues had 15 points. Matt Arcement had 19 points for the Hawks. And E.D. White defeatedVandebilt Catholic, 57-50, as Garrett had 11 points. Jared Voisin had agame-high 25 points for Vandebilt Catholic.

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