LAFAYETTE — Top-seeded St. Thomas More may have scored a 58-38 win over No. 32 seed Rayne in the opening round of the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs on Friday night, but STM coach Danny Broussard said his team’s performance didn’t match it’s seeding
“I didn’t think we gave a very good effort,” Broussard said, adding he thought his team “played uninspired.”
“If we can’t play better than this, we won’t advance real far,” Broussard said.
St. Thomas More controlled the tip and was able to build an early lead thanks to senior big man Will Vincent. The Cougars used Vincent’s size advantage, allowing STM to get the ball inside early and often in the first.
STM was able to hit 50 percent of its attempts, but five turnovers prevented the Cougars from building a larger lead than the 17-9 advantage they held after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, STM continued to stick the ball inside, and Rayne did not have the size to match up. That size advantage, plus a pair of 3-pointers from Griffin Hebert and Smitty Landry helped give Cougars a 31-18 lead at halftime after Rayne’s Bryon Mouton drained a shot from his own side of half court as time expired.
Despite holding a 13-point lead at half, the game was closer than it could have been. STM shot 12-for-26 in the half but was 4-for-12 from behind the arc.
STM’s defense limited Rayne to just 7 points in the third quarter, holding Rayne to only four field goals on 13 attempts.
The Cougars got rolling offensively in the third quarter, going 6-for-9 from the field, helping push the lead to 46-25.
But in the fourth quarter, STM hit on just 3 of 12 attempts on top of poor free-throw shooting.
The Cougars connected on just 10 of 22 attempts from the charity stripe.
“That won’t win you many playoff games if you shoot less than 50 percent,” Broussard said.
Despite struggling at points and looking sluggish at others, Broussard was able to find a few bright spots.
“Early on Johnathon Joseph got the ball inside to Will allowing us to score early,” he said.
Vincent led the Cougars with 14 points, and STM also got double-digit efforts from Trevor Begue and Jude Joseph, who each finished with 10.
Rayne was led by Braylin Bonnom, who scored 16 points.
The Cougars will face Carencro in a second-round contest on Tuesday.