SCOTT — Normally, Lafayette High coach Clifton Brown doesn’t like to use superb senior guard Corey Davis for an entire game.
Tuesday was not a normal day.
The Lions (17-3, 6-0) needed Davis to come through in a big way in their road game against District 3-5A rival Acadiana (11-10, 2-4), and Davis came through with 23 of his game-high 31 points in the second half to preserve Lafayette’s perfect district record in a 66-57 win that was closer than the final score indicated.
“He was phenomenal,” Brown said of Davis, who played the entire game. “We normally try to get him out in the first, second or third quarter, but I couldn’t take him out at all. He had one of those games that we need him to have for us to be successful.”
After scoring eight points in a back-and-forth first half, Davis came out firing with a pair ofbuckets right out of the gate after halftime to give the Lions a quick lead.
But Acadiana was ready and resilient. The Rams ripped off a 12-4 run after Davis’ two scores, and with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter, Acadiana had built a six-point lead — the largest by either team at that point. But Davis again led the Lions charge, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers on successive possessions to tie the game and swing the momentum toward Lafayette.
“Whenever he wants to take over, it’s tough,” Acadiana coach Dwayne Searle said. “We don’t really have anybody to match up with him.”
The Rams managed to weather the storm through the end of the third quarter thanks to a Bry’Keithon Mouton tip-in at the buzzer that gave them a 49-47 lead going into the final period, but the Lafayette athletes took the game over in the fourth quarter.
“I thought our guys played hard and did a hell of a job as a team trying to control them, but they have so many athletes. It’s not easy,” Searle said.
Acadiana’s offense dried up in the fourth quarter, and Lafayette took over by making its shots free throws. The Lions opened the final period on a 13-1 run, during which they went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Christian Freeman’s emphatic dunk late in the fourth quarter put the Lions ahead by 10 points. Freeman finished with 10 points.
The Lions came into the game undefeated in district play and on the heels of a six-game win streak, but the Rams were ready to defend their homecourt.
The teams traded leads 10 times in the first three quarters, and the game was tied on 14 occasions.
“You’ve got to think about the rivalry,” Brown said. “Any time you play a cross-town rival, you throw the records out the window. They really came out intense and focused, and coach Searle had a good game plan.”
It looked like the Lions were set to take control early in the second quarter, which they opened on a 9-0 run thanks to six quick points from Davis. But Acadiana responded with an 11-2 run of its own, keyed by a 3-pointer from Mouton, who led the Rams with 16 points. The teams went to the locker room at halftime tied at 27.
“They’re not No. 1 in the district for nothing,” Searle said. “It was a good game. I’m proud of the guys for competing the way they did. We challenged them; we didn’t back down.
The Lions will look to keep their win streak alive on the road against Comeaux on Friday, while the Rams will look to bounce back on the road against a struggling Sam Houston squad on the same day.