BY CHRIS LANDRY
The Daily Iberian
CADE -- At the end, Delcambre hit enough free throws and ESA missed enough layups to help the Panthers come away with a 43-38 win in “The Nest” on the ESA campus.
Delcambre dominated the backboards for most of the night and held the Falcons to only 2 points in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead, but had to hang on at the end after ESA answered with a 10-0 comeback in the third quarter that helped the Falcons take the lead early in the fourth period on a steal and layup by J.J. Jacquet.
Only 15-for-27 from the line overall, the Panthers converted eight of 10 during a key stretch in the fourth quarter to take the lead again and then hold on.
Carl Taylor of Delcambre (13) is defended by ESA’s J.J. Jacquet (1) during a non-district basketball game Friday at ESA. Delcambre won, 43-38.
“They came back on us,” said Delcambre coach Benny Dronet. “We knew they would. They’re well-coached and fundamentally sound.”
Defense sparked both Delcambre’s surge in the first half and ESA’s rally in the second half.
Three steals leading to a pair of layups and a couple of free throws in the second quarter pushed a 15-12 DHS lead to 24-14 by halftime, with the Falcons’ only points coming off a layup by Jacquet following a steal with 4:03 to go in the half.
The Panthers (5-2) made it 26-14 on a bucket by Jacob Broussard with 7:19 to go in the half, but Delcambre did not score again until Carl Taylor’s baseline drive for a basket with 2:39 to go in the half.
“Delcambre did a great job of containing us,” said ESA coach Mike Bourgeois. “We didn’t execute tonight. That was more about Delcambre’s defense than our execution.
“And when we did get opportunities, we didn’t make them. We missed a couple of easy shots.”
It took until the 4:57 mark of the quarter for ESA to score ��” making it a scoreless stretch of 6:06 for the Falcons ��” before Jacquet again hit a layup following a steal. That sparked a sudden scoring outburst by the Falcons (5-12), including a pair of 3-pointers by Nick Jindia and another basket by Jacquet, that brought ESA to within 26-24 with 2:58 remaining in the half.
Jacquet led the Falcons with 10 points. Jindia, who scored all his points on 3-point shots, had 9 points, and Spencer Hales also had 9, including a 3-point basket.
The biggest lead for either team from there was 5 points, which Delcambre matched three times, including the final score.
ESA closed to within a point by the end of the third quarter at 30-29, and Jacquet gave ESA the lead at 31-30 with 6:59 remaining on a layup following a steal near midcourt.
But the Panthers took advantage of their more physical game to draw fouls in the fourth period, getting into the bonus situation with 6:09 to go and into the double bonus at the 3:05 mark. Taylor converted a 3-point play with 4:59 to go to give DHS the lead for good at 34-31, sparking the 8-for-10 run at the foul line over the next 41⁄2 minutes that helped Delcambre maintain its lead.
Taylor and Lance Linden scored 16 points each for the Panthers, and each was strong at the line. Taylor went 6-for-9 and Linden was 8-for-11 at the stripe.
“We finally started settling down against their pressure (defense),” said Dronet. “Down the stretch, if you’re going to keep your lead, they’ve got to foul and you’ve got to go to the line and make a good enough percentage to win.
ESA was 1-for-6 at the line, but Bourgeois noted that three of those were the front ends of one-and-one situations that could have meant additional free throws.
“So really we were 1-for-9,” he said. “That’s been our story all year, our inability to make plays when we need to.”
Delcambre plays Tuesday at Sacred Heart of Ville Platte.
ESA travels to Orlando, Fla., to play in the KSA Events Classic Basketball Tournament at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The Falcons open against Pigeon Forge, Tenn., at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Other schools in the boys’ blue bracket include St. Francis Catholic of Ontario, Canada; Steel Valley High School of Munhall, Pa.; Upperman High School of Baxter, Tenn.; Bishop Timon St. Jude of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Bishop Canevin of Pittsburgh, Pa.
“It’s going to be a great trip,” said Bourgeois. “It’s an opportunity to get away from everyone and bond together.”
Courtesy of the Daily Iberian