SCC’s play takes focus: New coach, team start strong

Published 12:03 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

LAPLACE — There’s something rather special happening at St. Charles Catholic this basketball season. For one thing, the Lady Comets are winning.

St. Charles Catholic assistant coach Noland Louque works with senior guard Lela Hill during practice Wednesday.

St. Charles Catholic assistant coach Noland Louque works with senior guard Lela Hill during practice Wednesday.

Heading into the Christmas break, St. Charles has a record of 11-3, the best record of all the girls teams in St. John the Baptist Parish, the best record of any team in District 12-2A so far and the best record the Comets have seen in some time. From 2010 to 2012, St. Charles won a total of 15 games.

And they’re winning despite a revolving door at the coach’s office over recent years and a roster full of underclassmen.

The newly landed coach for this season is Kimberly Nunez, who moved to the area with her husband, assistant football coach Gary Nunez, and was asked to take over the team. She joins Nolan Louque and Tommy Julian, a pair of parents/insurance salesmen who have been helping the team for many years and who have set the table nicely.

“They laid a great foundation last year,” Nunez said. “Both of them have a lot of experience with coaching competitive basketball. They truly care about the kids and the program.”

Both have accepted Nunez, who admittedly has less life experience, into the fold.

“She brings a lot of spunk to the program,” said Louque, who acted as head coach last season and led the team to an 18-13 record but missed the playoffs. “She’s very excited to be here.”

That certainly seems true. Nunez almost gushes over what her team is accomplishing. The team has suffered only three losses — the first game of the season to St. Amant, 33-24; one to Episcopal, 43-29; and one Nunez calls a “heartbreaker” to Dunham, 42-40. The Comets were outscored 11-3 in the first quarter but rallied late.

“We were so close,” Nunez said. “We couldn’t stay with them in the first quarter and just couldn’t catch up. We won the third and fourth quarters, no doubt.”

Nunez is especially proud of the team’s next game against Central Lafourche. The Comets took a solid 47-27 victory over the Trojans.

“That game we really played four quarters,” Nunez said.

The key to the Comets success is not just in the coaching, of course. There are some pretty good players on the court. Senior guard Lela Hill is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 12 points per game. Senior Maddie Murphy leads the team in rebounds with seven per game. Running the offense is sophomore point guard Caroline Julian, who also leads the team in assists.

“The last couple of years we’ve really been working together,” Murphy said. “We all have one goal. We want to really accomplish something.”

Hill said she and her teammates are enjoying the turn-around.

“More people are coming to our games than ever did before,” Hill said.

St. Charles was scheduled to play Thibodaux on Thursday, but that game was canceled.

The Comets will take some time off for the holidays then travel to compete in the Hannan Tournament on Dec. 28.

In the first day of the Riverside Tournament Thursday, West St. John (6-4) lost to H.L. Bourgeois, 59-33 and Riverside (7-2) defeated Assumption, 43-41.

On Friday’s Day Two, Riverside played Ursuline and West St. John played Assumption. Both games were played after press time Friday morning.

East St. John will play at West St. John on Monday.