BASKETBALL

Tigers snap De La Salle's district winning streak

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Donaldsonville point guard Corey Brooks scored 17 in the Tigers' win over De La Salle. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Coming into Tuesday night, De La Salle hadn't lost a district game since Feb. 10, 2015. That translated into a streak of 29 straight league victories.

But thanks to the Donaldsonville Tigers, they failed to reach win number 30.

Coming off of a 73-57 road loss to Lusher, Donaldsonville entered Tuesday night's home contest with De La Salle locked in and playing some of their best basketball of the season. The result was a game in which they only trailed once.

They led the Cavaliers pretty much wire to wire en route to an impressive 67-49 victory.

"De La Salle hadn’t lost a district game in two and a half years. They had won 29 in a row until tonight," Tiger head coach Lionel Gilbert said. "I challenged our guys to rewrite history and defend our home court. That’s what district is all about.

"We went to New Orleans and took one on the chin last week against Lusher. We had a whole week to think about it. I just think our guys were locked in tonight. Hopefully, we can build off of this one. Intensity and execution wise, this is the best game we’ve played in a long time. I’m proud of them.”

Donaldsonville got off to a great start. Right out of the gates, Terrell Brown knocked down a 3-pointer.

Later, he hit another, and Corey Brooks drilled one as well. Still, despite the three treys, they only led 15-9 heading into the second quarter.

De La Salle then made their best run of the game. They put together a 7-0 spurt that got them within two points. But that's as close as they would get.

Clenard Mollere got a bucket in the paint to push the Donaldsonville advantage back to seven. That basket ignited a 7-2 run by the Tigers to take a 29-20 lead into the half.

The second half belonged to Donaldsonville.

After spending much of the first 16 minutes on the bench due to foul trouble, Everette Wilson came in and quickly made his presence felt.

He scored down low to make the lead 10. He then pulled off an and-one play to make it 12. And to end the quarter, he took advantage of another and-one opportunity to give the Tigers a comfortable 48-34 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

De La Salle began the final period with a 5-0 run to trim the deficit to nine, but the Tigers quickly answered.

A drive and layup by Brooks stretched the advantage back to 15 and ensured a great bounce-back win for Donaldsonville.

“We challenged our guys tonight to come out and play four quarters of solid, intense defense," Gilbert said. "I thought we executed our assignments well tonight. Guys did what they were asked to do, and they did it to the fullest of their abilities."

Three players scored in double-figures for the Tigers.

Brooks, a Thibodaux transfer, led the way with 17 points. Brown followed with 13, and Wilson was close behind with 12.

D'Andre Johnson chipped in with eight.

The win improved Donaldsonville to 19-8 overall. It also improved their district mark to 3-1.

“This is huge. This district is very competitive," Gilbert said. "We still have to play De La Salle again on the road, but this is a big win that keeps us in the running. District championships still mean something to us. We had to win tonight to have a chance. Our backs are against the wall if we want to hang that district championship banner up in our gym. The kids bought in this week.”