LAFAYETTE — St. Thomas More coach Danny Broussard said he emphasizes getting the last shot of every quarter, and the Cougars did that to perfection against Northwood at STM’s Sunkist Shootout on Saturday.
Before halftime, Keith Kishbaugh beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to put the Cougars up 28-22 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, Griffin Hebert hit a buzzer-beating two-pointer to put STM up 46-33. Broussard said those two baskets kept the momentum on the Cougars’ side and gave them a 60-46 win.
“We got momentum back on our side with those two big baskets,” Broussard said. “Those were huge, and I thought we did a great job executing those plays and getting our guys going.”
Early on, Northwood’s 6-foot-8 junior Michael Layssard, who scored 14 points, was having success in the lane. Most of those points came in the first half as Broussard said the Cougars began to double team Layssard and get him out of rhythm.
“We wanted to double him down, and we just got there late on a couple of them,” Broussard said. “He’s very mobile, and when he catches the ball, before we could get down there, he’s already making a move to the basket.
“He got some points, but I thought Will Vincent did a pretty good job on him. When Will was down there, he forced (Layssard) into tough shots and when Will was out for a breather, Andrew Recatto and Peter Kishbaugh did a good job on him.”
Northwood played a 3-2 trap defense, and Broussard said Trevor Begu penetrated the trap to perfection. Though he missed a couple times, Begue ended up with 14 points. Broussard said his explosiveness helped the Cougars to pull away.
“When we put Trevor in the middle, he attacks the rim and finds open guys,” Broussard said. “We’re not a great shooting team, but when we get open, we can knock some down. (Begue’s) effective in the traps because we can get it to him and he makes things happen.”
Northwood found momentum in the third quarter and trimming the deficit to3. STM’s Devanté hit two 3-pointers in a row to get momentum soundly on STM’s side.
“Devanté was focused for this game and fired up,” Broussard said. “Those 3-pointers were huge cause we couldn’t get anything going. We were missing a lot, and they were hanging in there with us. Those shots gave us confidence.”
Broussard said Brother Martin’s 67-32 win over Carencro was the best he has seen in the Sunkist Shootout. He said the matchup will present problems for the Cougars.
“Every year they claim our side of the bracket is stacked,” Broussard said. “Brother Martin is not a great matchup for us. They’re strong and quick, and they might beat us by 30, but we’re going to be ready to play.”