Wildcats wear down Crusaders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 28, 2002


DESTREHAN – Dest-rehan’s idea to wear down the Brother Martin team netted the District 6-5A champs an almost 20-point playoff win at home Friday. The Fighting Wildcats relied heavily on their defensive pressure, which allowed the Crusaders 52 points in their 71-52 defeat.

The Fighting Wildcats pounded the Crusaders back 19-12 in the opening eight minutes and held their six-point lead to finish the first half up 34-28.

The Crusaders put Destrehan’s lead in jeopardy mid-way into the third quarter when Brother Martin evened the score at 38.

However, the Fighting Wildcats remained strong and raised their lead to 52-40 before entering the fourth quarter.

For the third time in the game, the first, third and fourth quarters, the Fighting Wildcats held Brother Martin back to 12 points.

Meanwhile, the Destrehan offense was busy adding 19 points to their score to ensure the playoff win.

“This was our first playoff win in a long time. I think we handled it well,” said Destrehan’s Joe Schick. “They’re a dangerous team, very well-coached.”

He said although his players were in the lead at halftime, they didn’t finish the first half very well.

Schick said the Fighting Wildcats had a chance to put the game away in the first half, but made some mental errors and missed some opportunities they should have taken advantage of.

“But we did what we had to do to keep the intensity level up,” he added. “I felt they would fatigue after a little bit with our defensive pressure because they play about six people and we play eight.”

Schick said he matched his players with the Brother Martin team and almost all of the Fighting Wildcats were quicker on the floor.

He said the key to their success is that their offense is strong, but when their defense is playing their best, the team can play with anybody.

“Our confidence level is very high,” he added. “But we’ve got to put this win behind us. We have another playoff game ahead at Higgins.”

Schick said his team routinely performed well on the road during the regular season, but needs to be ready for this trip because in the playoffs there aren’t many weak team remaining.

“We are going to keep things simple and keep with the same things that got us to the dance,” he continued.

He said all of the players did a good job, including Mark Stewart, who scored 28 points, Jaszmine Eugene, who had 21 and Lonnie Vasquez, who finished with 12 points.