Lutcher press proves too much for St. Charles

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 5, 2014


LUTCHER — For one quarter Tuesday night, St. Charles Catholic showed a glimpse of what it could be under new head coach Kemper Todd. But for the rest of the night, Lutcher showed what exactly what it is under coach Chase Delrie: a very good basketball team.

The Bulldogs moved to 6-1, their best start in Delrie’s tenure, with an 81-46 victory at home over their local rival Comets.

SCC led 20-12 early in the second quarter, but Lutcher’s length, depth and quickness eventually wore the Comets down, and out. Tiajah White and Tariq Belvin combined to lead the Bulldogs with 33 combined points in the victory.

Melvin Taylor and Jobe Kelly each scored eight to lead SCC. Charley Rousseve added seven.

Todd said he was pleased with his players’ effort level, but that the Comets were very much a work in progress—especially compared to a Lutcher team well-versed in its attack.

“They’ve been doing what they do a lot longer than we’ve been doing what we do,” Todd said. “We’ve shown we can do it in spurts. But 33 practices isn’t enough time to completely install a system, and when you’re playing a good team who can throw four different types of presses at you, it’s difficult. We’re learning on the fly.

“We’re on our way. Right now, we’re exactly where we should be. It’s just going to take time.”

Delrie said the Bulldogs may have been a little anxious early on — the game was Lutcher’s home opener — but that once the team settled down, he had no argument with the results.

“Playing our style, with the depth we have, we can force teams into uncomfortable situations,” Delrie said. “And you really saw that in the second, third and fourth quarters. We took advantage of who we are and what we do.”

Tharrin Maddie got Lutcher rolling when he hit a runner and drew a foul, converting a free throw for a 3-point play to make it 20-17. Brendon Taylor followed with a pull-up jumper. For SCC (0-2), Jobe Kelly answered with a jumper of his own to push SCC’s lead to three, but Lutcher pushed back to take the lead on a Jaylon Wingate tip-in.

Those kind of second-chance points haunted the Comets for the rest of the night — as did the Lutcher press. White drew a big reaction from fans in attendance with a rim-rocking slam off a steal, then scored on an and-one drive to make it 28-22. He made another layup to make it 30-22. Lutcher kept going: A Belvin layup capped a 19-0 run that pushed LHS’ lead to 36-22. Lutcher led 42-26 at half.

“We missed a lot of layups in the first quarter,” White said. “We played a little lazy. Coach talked to us and we picked it up.”

Lutcher put things away early in the second half, beginning the third quarter on a 14-4 run. White threw down an alley-oop lob pass to begin the second half, and Destin Porter canned a 3 from the wing to cap the run, making it 59-30.

The Bulldogs have secured four of their six victories by double figures and White, one of only two seniors on the team, says this team has yet to fully hit its stride.

“We just got our football players in this week,” he said. “We’re working really hard, practicing hard, and building chemistry with one another.”

Delrie said this is a team he has high expectations for.

“This is the best start since I’ve been here,” Delrie said. “We’ve been waiting on this group for awhile. There’s a lot of ability on this team, with (White) as our senior.”