A capacity crowd was on hand Friday night at the Cougar Dome as St. Thomas More welcomed back former Cougars star Brad Boyd and his Opelousas High Tigers team in a pivotal District 4-4A game.
Boyd’s Tigers gave the Cougars all they could handle, but STM ultimately pulled away from the visiting Tigers to record a 67-51 victory.
With the win STM improved to 23-6 and 4-0 in district while Opelousas drops to 13-9 and 1-3.
St. Thomas More took control from the opening tip and never looked back. Seniors DeVante’ Benjamin and William Vincent led the way, scoring 14 points each. The pair also each threw down monster slams.
After STM took a 38-24 lead into halftime, it was the Cougars depth that helped them pull away. The Cougars started the third quarter on a 10-0 run. Opelousas didn’t record its first bucket of the third quarter until the 4:52 mark.
St. Thomas More coach Danny Broussard said his bench has been a strength this season.
“Our depth is huge for us,” Broussard said. “We were able to play 12 kids, something we’ve doing all year.
“We feel like we are really able to wear teams down by the time we get to the fourth quarter.”
Boyd also said STM’s depth as a major factor.
“They wore us down inside and were able to get easy buckets,” he said.
OHS was led by Marvin Thompson. Thompson scored 23 points. Terrell Lewis chipped in 11 points.
Broussard attributed Thompson’s hot hand to him being the Tigers best player, but also felt his team could have done a better job of defending him.
“We gave him too many open looks,” Broussard said. “Our guys will have to guard him closer the next time we face Opelousas.”
While the game didn’t turn out like he wanted, Boyd was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We played hard for four quarters and had guys step up and take a leadership role,” he said.
Next up, St. Thomas More will travel to New Orleans, where the Cougars will take on Madison-Ridgeland Academy on Saturday in the Smoothie King Center. Opelousas meanwhile will travel to Teurlings Catholic on Tuesday.