Tigers advance to second round of playoffs

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley
DHS junior Floyd Foster, Jr. broke away for a late layup to help advance the Tigers past E.D. White in the first round of the playoffs Friday night.

The no. 8 DHS Tigers basketball team for the third consecutive time this season beat no. 25 E.D. White Friday at the DHS Gym. This time it was for more than district bragging rights, the 59-44 win advanced the Tigers to the second round of the LHSAA 3A playoffs.

“It’s hard to beat a district opponent three times in a row, so I’m proud of what we did,” DHS head coach Barry Whittington said, picking up his first career playoff win.

The Tigers went into the game knowing the Cardinals very well and didn’t take the team lightly as DHS jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter the Tigers lead 12-2. In the second quarter, DHS didn’t slack any as it went into the locker room leading 28-12. Seniors Leondre James, Jermial Jones and Anthony Jackson led the scorer’s sheet at the half for DHS each with six points.

With a big first half advantage, the Tigers took the Cardinals lightly out of the break as E.D. White made some runs in the third quarter.

“We came out very well in the first two quarters,” Whittington said. “But in the third quarter we didn’t finish very well.”

The Tigers held a 15-point advantage going into the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals were beginning to chip away at DHS’ lead.

E.D. White got within 11 points with 3:42 to play in the game and looked to make a run, forcing Whittington to call a late timeout.

 “I credit E.D. White, they played extremely hard the entire game,” Whittington said.

The Tigers were able to close out the game and was led in scoring by James with 11 and Jones who added 10.

Whittington said the Tigers’ focus has to be on “being patient and understanding where our advantages are and where our strengths are.”

“We kind of lost sight of that throughout the game and they were able to make a run,” Whittington said.

With the Mardi Gras weekend separating the first round and second round game, Whittington said, “I think the biggest thing for me is, this is what we’ve been working for so don’t do anything crazy to mess it up.”

The Tigers face Northwest High in Opelousas on Mardi Gras Day, March 6 at 7 p.m. for a second round playoff matchup.