The Lutcher Bulldogs got off to a bit of a slow start in their Class 3A boys’ basketball playoff opener Friday night against visiting Sterlington, perhaps feeling the affects of being off of school for the Mardi Gras holiday.
Once the Bulldogs got into a groove, they looked like a Carnival krewe with a lot of extra throws as Lutcher pulled away for a 75-51 win.
In other playoff action Friday involving River Parish teams, Hahnville defeated Thibodaux 65-60 and West St. John downed Delta Charter 64-57.
A late first-quarter run allowed Lutcher to take a 21-9 lead over Sterlington going into the second quarter.
“We would jump out a little bit and trying to feel each other out,” Lutcher coach J.P. Piper said. “They would make a play or two to close it down. At one point they actually went up on a 3-pointer.
“We looked like we had been out of school all week, which we had. We looked like a team that hadn’t had enough practice, which we hadn’t.”
Then, the Bulldogs finally caught their wind.
“We started defending better and making some open shots we missed earlier. We got a little bit of transition going. We trapped them at half-court and got a turnover and a layup,” said Piper.
The Bulldogs hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter as Lutcher built a 37-18 halftime lead.
After hitting from outside in the second quarter, the Bulldogs opened the second half by going inside. Jacoby Williams drove the lane for a basket, Mehki Patterson pulled up in the lane for another bucket, and Jeremiah Pierre scored on a layup as Lutcher’s lead ballooned to 25 points at 43-18.
Lutcher’s biggest lead of the third quarter was 29 points when Williams hit one of his four 3-pointers on the night to give the Bulldogs a 57-28 lead on the way to a 57-32 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Williams finished with a game-high 23 points. Patterson added 11 for the Bulldogs.
Mike Givens topped Sterlington with 21 points and Fred Hymes tossed in 13.
The Bulldogs advance to the second round and will host St. Martinville at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. St. Martinville, the No. 10 seed won 66-52 over Westlake, the No. 23 seed.
Hahnville 65, Thibodaux 60: Hahnville turned the tables on Thibodaux, knocking out the defending state champions Friday in Boutte.
It was the third time this season that Hahnville beat Thibodaux. A year ago, Thibodaux took all three games from Hahnville on its way to the Class 5A state title.
Hahnville (24-9) built a lead 15 points in the fourth quarter but had to hang on for the win after Thibodaux rallied to within one points.
HHS led 15-11 after one quarter before pulling ahead for a 33-20 halftime advantage.
Hahnville led 33-24 entering the fourth quarter and was ahead 50-35 with less than seven minutes remaining in the game before Thibodaux rallied.
Thibodaux (16-14) went on a 15-3 scoring spree to pull to within one point at 53-52 with less than four minutes left in the game.
Two free throws off of a technical foul against Thibodaux allowed Hahnville to increased its lead to three points. Hahnville closed the game by hitting on five-consecutive free throws on its way to the 65-60 triumph.
Kaden Pierre led Hahnville with 20 points while Claudell Harris chipped in 13.
J’Mari Carter topped Thibodaux with 20 points. Kyren Lacy added 15 and Tyren Lebeauf 14.
Hahnville will be on the road for the second round of the playoffs at Ponchatoula. Ponchatoula, the No. 7 seed, won 67-61 over Grace King, the No. 26 seed.
West St. John 64, Delta Charter 57: Playing at home, the Rams defeated Delta Charter to advance to the second round of the Class 1A playoffs against Oak Grove.
Oak Grove, the No. 5 seed, won 89-30 over Basile, the No. 28 seed.
West St. John’s second-round game is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Oak Grove.
The Rams (12-18) took a 16-12 lead after one quarter and stretched the advantage to 10 at halftime at 32-22. Delta Charter (6-15) outscored West St. John 16-13 in the third quarter to make it a 45-38 game heading into the fourth period.