NEW IBERIA — Westgate saved one of its better performances of the season for its cross-town rival, cruising past New Iberia 61-40 on Saturday night.
“We put four quarters together,” Westgate coach Oliver Winston said. “We are very young, but we had an opportunity to do a better job of not making simple mistakes, and playing for four quarters. I thought we did a fairly decent job of doing that.”
In the first half, sophomore guard Anachack Phomithath was Westgate’s main offensive threat, finding success driving to the basket and with his jump shot.
The Yellow Jackets were able to get numerous trips to the free-throw line in the second quarter. Brison Savoy closed a back-and-forth first half with two free throws, giving New Iberia a 28-25 advantage at halftime.
Phomithath, who finished with a game-high 27 points, started the second half right where he left off with a nifty behind-the-back maneuver and lay in, cutting Westgate’s deficit down to one. Christian Gant gave the Tigers the lead back with a finger roll on the next possession.
Westgate (6-12, 1-4) was a headache for New Iberia (6-10, 2-3) defensively in the second half. Westgate’s defensive halftime adjustments helped hold the Yellow Jackets to two points in the quarter.
“We thought we could play well defensively,” Winston said. “We thought if we could keep them in check defensively, opportunities would come on offense.”
Westgate began to pull away in the fourth quarter, as New Iberia continued to struggle offensively.
Bryrick Broussard’s 3-pointer with six minutes left to play put the Tigers up 12. Mid-range buckets from Trevor Davis and Gant extended the Tigers’ lead to 18.
The Tigers continued to play well on the other side of the court, drawing offensive fouls. Devarian Joseph also blocked shots.
Phomithath’s bucket in the final minute sealed the win.
“(Phomithath) is coming along,” Winston said. “This is his first year playing, but he’s rounding into the player that we always knew he could be. It helps a lot when you have Bryrick Broussard with him. Bryrick is able to really teach him, but Anachack played really well tonight.”
Broussard finished with 17 points for Westgate. Savoy led New Iberia with 10 .
Next up for the Tigers is a contest in Lafayette against Teurlings Catholic on Tuesday.
With four games remaining, Winston said his team’s mindset is clear.
“We just want to try to win every one,” Winston said. “It’s that simple.”