Comets take down Cards
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE — After a string of gut-wrenching district defeats and with a perennial 3A contender visiting their gym to close out round one of District 7-3A play, the St. Charles Comets knew their backs were against the wall.
They responded to the pressure. SCC rode a nine-point lead into halftime and held E.D. White at bay from there, securing its first district victory, 54-49.
The Comets’ Trent Dunn scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the second quarter, including seven of the nine unanswered points St. Charles (9-10, 1-4) scored to close the second quarter.
“We’re definitely looking at this as a turning point for our season,” said Dunn. “We played with a lot of intensity tonight.”
Said St. Charles coach Chris Perrone, “We beat a team that knows how to win. We closed it out. That’s always tough to do. It’s certainly a really big win.”
The game highlighted the razor thin line that seems to separate each team in 7-3A, from top to bottom. E.D. White entered the game in second place with a 3-1 record; SCC was alone in last place with a 0-4 mark. But the Cardinals had actually been outscored by two over those four games; winning by two points and three points against Donaldsonville and St. James, falling by 17 to Brusly and besting Port Allen by 10.
The Comets, meanwhile, were outscored by 21 total points, with a one-point loss to Port Allen, a two-point loss to St. James, and nine point losses to Donaldsonville and Brusly, the latter game one that saw the Comets lead by nine entering the final quarter.
“Everyone is ranked in the top 20 in power points, except for us,” said Perrone, alluding to the fact that E.D. White ranks fourth on the power point rankings. “You don’t see blowouts in this district. The games are all real tight.”
This time, there would be no game-winning rally for the Cardinals, but an effort was made.
E.D. White (15-5, 3-2) had cut SCC’s lead to two with a late third quarter 7-0 run. The Comets matched that to begin the fourth, when Dunn hit two free throws, then John Williams scored five consecutive points on a transition bucket and three foul shots. That made it 42-33.
Scott Szush answered by canning a 3 for the Cardinals to cut the lead to six. Marcus Hall found Mike Green open inside off of a drive and dish; Green’s layup pushed the lead to 8, and a Hall free throw later made it nine with close to two minutes left.
E.D. White point guard Eric Bloss stepped up though and hit two 3’s within the next minute; Williams hit two free throws but the Comets lead was down to five with 1:36 left.
“I flat told our guys, take a breath. We’ve got a five point lead,” said Perrone. “If we take care of the ball and make our free throws, we’ll be fine. Just don’t trade zeroes and ones for twos and threes.”
But from there, the Cardinals would get no closer than four, as they did in the very late stages. SCC made seven of eight free throws from that point to close out the game; the Comets hit 15 of 18 from the stripe in the fourth quarter as a whole.
“Everyone was involved tonight,” said Williams. “That’s when we play at our best, when everyone scores … This is a good feeling. We’ve just got to keep our focus.”
Williams finished with 14 for St. Charles, while Marcus Hall added nine. E.D. White’s Ja’Dante’ Frye led all scorers with 21. Bloss added 12.