Donaldsonville holds off Green Devils

Kyle Riviere
Jacoby Simon (No. 1) and Everette Wilson (No. 10) play tenacious defense down low in the Tigers' victory over Plaquemine. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Riding a three-game losing streak and falling down 5 late in the third quarter at home against Plaquemine last Wednesday night, Donaldsonville head coach Lionel Gilbert took his team to task.

“I challenged them. Last night, we were up by 10 in the third quarter against White Castle, and we let it get away,” Gilbert said. “In the third quarter, my whole message to them was: ‘They’re looking at you, thinking you’re tired. We work too hard in the offseason to be tired. We’re not going to lose a game because we’re tired.’ My guys responded. They sucked it up and gutted this one out.”

The Tigers fought back with an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter. And though Plaquemine made a hard charge late, Donaldsonville pulled it out, 49-47.

The Green Devils surged to a 10-5 lead in the first quarter, but two free throws by Jacoby Smith completed a 6-0 run for the Tigers that gave them an 11-10 lead.

The advantage didn’t last long as Plaquemine made a put-back at the buzzer to go up 12-11 heading into the second quarter.

That shot sparked an 8-0 run by the Green Devils that helped them build the biggest lead of the contest at 7.

Just when the game looked like it was going to get away from them, Jacoby Simon drilled a 3-pointer that ignited a 12-3 Tiger run that put them back ahead.

They ended the half with the momentum as Smith converted an and-one opportunity to put Donaldsonville up 29-26.

Smith continued to roll to start the second half as he made a layup to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 5.

Plaquemine had an answer. The Green Devils responded with a 10-0 run that gave them a 5-point advantage late in the third.

Things looked bleak for Donaldsonville until the fourth quarter when their defense turned the game around.

Right after knocking down a 3-pointer, Jaqunn Mitchell came up with a big steal that he finished off with a transition layup.

This sparked an 11-0 run by the Tigers that was completed with a jumper by Smith. It gave Donaldsonville their biggest lead of the game at 6.

The Green Devils scored 5 straight to trim the deficit to 1, but Smith came up with a steal and launched a pass downcourt to Terry Holmes—who finished with a big dunk.

Everette Wilson was held without a field goal, but he came through with some huge rebounds and blocks down the stretch that helped the Tigers pull out the victory.

“I was really pleased with our guys’ response. We dropped one last night. We got off to a slow start tonight, but we shook it off, and these guys deserved the win,” Gilbert said.

Smith led the Tigers with 17 points. Mitchell had 10, and Simon followed with 7.

The victory ended a three-game skid for Donaldsonville, but they couldn’t celebrate for long.

“Now, we go to Terrebonne tomorrow. It doesn’t get any easier,” Gilbert said. “This is a tough week. It’s almost like an NBA schedule. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—we’ll be playing basketball. For our guys just coming off of the football field, this is a great way to get them in shape.”

Gilbert said that this kind of brutal early-season schedule will come in handy when district play begins.

“It gets tougher. You try to mimic what we’re going to see in district,” Gilbert said. “We got Baker, U-High, Parkview, Brusly, Port Allen, Glen Oaks—it doesn’t get easy. It doesn’t benefit us playing a cupcake schedule. Every night, we have to be ready to battle when district starts. The only way I know how to get ready to battle is to actually go out and battle.”