RAYNE – Derrick Boone was concerned about a letdown Tuesday night.
And for a while, his concerns were justified. But a 10-0 run by his Crowley High team to start the third quarter ended those fears and helped propel his Gents to a 69-50 victory over parish and league rival Rayne
With the victory, the Gents finished the regular season at 20-9 overall and 6-2 in District 5-AAA. Rayne fell to 8-18 with the loss and dropped to 2-5 in league play.
The Wolves close out the season Friday at Church Point.
“I was worried about having a hangover from the Northwest game,” said Boone, whose squad was coming off a huge road victory over Northwest last Friday. “I was worried about us coming out here with a lack of effort and enthusiasm, but that wasn’t the case. I told my guys that we weren’t about to enter the playoffs on a loss and they took that to heart.”
The first half seemed like a letdown for the Gents who fell behind twice in the opening quarter before regaining the lead at 13-12.
Rayne gained the advantage twice in the second quarter, taking its final lead of the game – 26-24 – on a Darius Bonnon basket with 1:36 remaining in the half.
Dexter Scott answered, scoring six straight points on driving layups to give Crowley a 30-26 cushion at the break.
“The first half, it looked like we were a little lost,” said Boone of his team taking just a four-point lead despite 12 Rayne turnovers in the first 16 minutes. “We kind of started that individual play in the first half but we settled down after halftime.”
Jerrell Andrus scored six points in the first two minutes and the Gents built a 38-26 lead before Rayne hit its first basket of the half with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
Rayne’s turnover problems continued in the second half. The Wolves aided Crowley’s run with eight turnovers alone in the third quarter.
“Turnovers hurt us, but the inability of my seniors to show their seniority hurt as well,” said RHS coach Louis Handy. “My seniors didn’t play up to my expectations. We also didn’t play well as a team. We had too many I’s, me’s and myself. There wasn’t a lot of us and we.”
Scott and Andrus turned Rayne’s final three turnovers of the quarter into points to give the Gents a 49-33 advantage heading into the final stanza.
Rayne cut the lead to 12 at 52-40 with just over six minutes to play before Crowley went on a 17-10 run to end the game.
Scott paced the Gents with 18 points and was one of three Gents to score in double figures on the night.
Andrus added 15 points and Therion Beverly kicked in 12.
Also contributing in the victory were Tevin Barker with nine points, Darrius Harrison with eight and Michael Harmon with seven.
“We have enough talent on this team to where we don’t have to depend on one player to score in double figures each time out,” said Boone. “Every night, it could be somebody else. As long as we play as a team like we have been doing lately, I see positive things happening for this team.”
Bonnon was the high-man for Rayne pouring in a game-high 22 points. The sophomore guard’s performance was highlighted by six 3-pointers. Vincent Sinegal followed with eight points and Broc Nolan scored six.
As for Handy, Tuesday’s loss also eliminated any hopes of the Wolves getting into the playoffs. It will be the first time in 23 years that he will not be participating in postseason play.
“The last time I didn’t make the playoffs was in 1987 when I was coaching in Breaux Bridge,” said Handy. “It’s a hard pill to swallow, winning eight games. It’s something I have to except, it’s the Lord’s will. Hopefully I can try and curb some of the inability of some of these underclassmen and get us back in the hunt next year.”