SCOTT — Acadiana coach Nic Jeffers called Westgate’s Anachak Phomthirath’s effort Monday as good a performance as he has ever seen.
Phomthirath had 28 points, including four 3-pointers, but Westgate couldn’t capitalize on the gutty effort. Instead, the Rams got 16 from Jacob Maxwell, 15 from Cody Bourque and 11 a piece from Quincy Damon and Myles Hutchinson in a much-needed 69-65 win.
The game was tied at 62 before a frantic final two minutes.
The Rams got a big basket from Hutchinson go up 65-62 and immediately stole the ball, resulting in another Hutchinson basket. The Rams scored again to go up 69-62.
Westgate then hit a 3-pointer to pull within four, but that’s as close as they got.
“Both teams played well,” Jeffers said. What a great high school basketball game. Both teams left everything on the court.”
Jeffers said he was impressed with Phomthirath’s performance and his ability to make plays from all over the court.
“He stepped up and made play after play. He knocked down threes. He took it to the basket. He was finishing and getting fouled. That is as good a performance as I have seen out of any kid, maybe ever. What a clutch kid. He played a really exceptional game and really controlled the pace of the game.”
Westgate coach Oliver Winston was visibly frustrated after the game, mostly because of an off-the-court incident which forced multiple starters to be suspended for the game. Winston declined to go into the specifics of the suspensions.
Winston said Phomthirath’s gutty performance was overshadowed by a poor team effort.
“It doesn’t matter if you score 100 points,” Winston said. “If you give up 101, you lose. We were terrible. If we’re not playing defense, which we did not, that is going to be the outcome. When you have starters that are suspended because of trivial stuff, you come in short-handed, and we didn’t step up to the plate tonight.
“Acadiana did what they’re supposed to do. Credit to them. They played hard and played good defense. They rebounded the ball. They hit shots. We just did not respond.”
For Acadiana, Maxwell’s 16 points led the way, but Jeffers said his energy and effort plays were the key to the Rams’ victory.
“(Maxwell) brought a lot of energy to the court tonight,” Jeffers said. “He left a few points out there, but he made a couple of great hustle plays and he was solid on the boards. He gave them problems.”
The win moves Acadiana to 2-5 for the season and Jeffers said Monday’s hard-fought win could catapult the Rams to a nice run.
“To beat a team like Westgate who is tradition rich and well coached, it says a lot,” Jeffers said. “Hopefully it gives us some confidence moving forward and maybe we can get on a little roll here and make some things happen.”