Tigers’ season ends with semifinal loss
Donaldsonville’s memorable season came to a close on Thursday afternoon as the fifth-seeded Tigers were defeated by No. 1 Madison Prep in the semifinals of the LHSAA Boy’s Marsh Madness in Lake Charles.
The Chargers lived up to every bit of the hype surrounding them entering the game.
Madison Prep jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the contest, and the Chargers never looked back. They built up a 14-point lead at halftime, and then they cruised to a 70-45 victory.
It was by far Donaldsonville’s most lop-sided loss of the season. Heading into the game, the Tigers had lost four games by a combined 13 points.
It was also only the second time all season that Donaldsonville allowed an opponent to score 70 points of more. The only other time in happened was back on Dec. 9, when Donaldsonville dropped a 71-68 contest against East St. John.
After jumping out to a 9-0 lead early, Madison Prep eventually led, 17-6. Donaldsonville was able to chip into that deficit slightly to begin the second quarter, cutting it to 21-12.
However, from there, it was all Chargers.
Late in the third quarter, Madison Prep went on a 10-0 run that gave the Chargers their biggest lead of the game at 23. They then proceeded to roll to the 25-point victory.
The Tigers had no answers for 6-foot-9 Madison Prep center Percy Daniels. The Seton Hall signee piled up 25 points. Jayce Deptron added 15.
Donaldsonville was led by senior forward Troy Cole. Cole scored 14 points.
With the victory, Madison Prep advanced to the Class 3A state title game. It’s the second straight season the Chargers have reached the championship matchup. They won the 3A state crown last year.
The loss ends what was a sensational 2021-22 season for the Tigers.
Donaldsonville went 27-4 during the regular season, which included an undefeated run in league play that resulted in a District 9-3A championship.
The Tigers also carried a 10-game winning streak into the playoffs. That helped them earn the No. 4 seeding in the Class 3A postseason.
Donaldsonville continued its impressive run in the playoffs.
In the opening round, the Tigers trounced No. 28 Mamou, 94-53. In round two, they rolled past 13th-seeded Frederick A. Douglas, 63-39.
And in the state quarterfinals, Donaldsonville pulled away from fifth-seeded Iowa, 62-50, to punch its ticket to LHSAA Boy’s Marsh Madness for the first time since 2014.
The Tigers were led by senior point guard Lawrence Forcell, who was last year’s District 9-3A MVP.
Cole was another huge catalyst for the Tigers’ impressive run this season, after transferring from Ascension Catholic.
Guards Raiyen Oatis and Robert Kent were key contributors, and senior Malik Robertson was a very good rebounder and defender in the paint for the Tigers.
After Donaldsonville’s state quarterfinal victory over Iowa, longtime head coach Lionel Gilbert summed it up well as to why this Tigers squad was so special.
“These guys share the basketball, and they play hard for each other,” Gilbert said. “It’s all about sharing and caring with your teammates and loving your brothers. That’s what I love about this team.”
Donaldsonville ended the season with an overall record of 30-5.