LAFAYETTE — The Teurlings Catholic boys basketball team capped off an historic week, defeating Northside 69-61 behind 33 points from big man Cole Kelley.
It was the Rebels’ (18-7, 4-1) first win against Northside (12-10, 2-3) since 1996, and it came on the heels of a 36-35 win over fellow 5-4A rival St. Thomas More earlier this week, who Teurlings Catholic has now defeated twice in the school’s history.
“I can’t express to these guys how big of a week it was,” Teurlings coach Jake Dueitt said. “They’ve both got great programs, great tradition. They’ve both been in the top-28 the last few years. Two huge power rankings games.”
The 6-foot-7 Kelley was a monster from start to finish, scoring 10 points in the fast-paced opening quarter and topping it with 14 in the fourth quarter.
“He’s a load,” Northside coach Ross Rix said. “He did a great job tonight carrying his ball club.”
But Teurlings has come to expect that from Kelley. What impressed Dueitt on Friday night was Kelley’s impact on the defensive end.
Dueitt said Kelley is a frequent target of good-natured ribbing from his teammates because he’s slow to get back on defense. But he was a force on defensive around the basket against Northside.
The Vikings continually tried to use their athleticism to attack the basket against Teurlings, but Kelley and Ike Hidalgo were almost always there to block or alter shots with their length.
“Even if he doesn’t block a lot of shots, just altering the shots is going to be huge,” Dueitt said. “Nobody likes to go in there with a bunch of trees.”
With Kelley leading the charge early, the Rebels jumped out to a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter, but Northside wasn’t about to fade away.
Using a 9-4 run to close the first half and a 5-0 run to open the second, the Vikings pulled back within one point of the Rebels midway through the third quarter.
Teurlings recovered to outscore the Vikings 9-5 over the final stretch of the third quarter, then Kelley opened up the fourth by scoring the Rebels’ first six points of the quarter to push their lead back to 10.
Again, Northside responded with a rally, cutting the Teurlings lead to four with under a minute to play. But it was too late.
“We’ve been talking about persevering all week,” Rix said. “I thought we did a good job fighting back.
“I told them in the locker room that the effort was there, it just wasn’t always the greatest execution.”
The Vikings had opportunities to make big plays, but they committed turnovers on a couple occasions when they had the Rebels beat in transition.
“We missed out in transition a couple times,” Rix said. “One time we were three-on-one and we couldn’t make the smart play, then another time we were two-on-one. That’s stuff we work on every day. We just didn’t capitalize on what we should’ve.”
Darius Randell and Joe Delacroix each scored 14 in a losing effort for the Vikings.
The Rebels had three players in double figures besides Kelley, led by 11 apiece from Hidalgo and guard Sage Leblanc.